Companies are made aware of the requirements of the vaccination passport

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Sault Ste. Marie Chamber of Commerce does its part to help its members understand government policy and the role they need to play in keeping their businesses, employees and customers safe. A webinar was conducted by the chamber last week to address the initial release of the information and another is expected in the near future as details materialize.

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By the middle of next week, Ontarians will have to prove they are double vaccinated in order to access restaurants, gyms, sporting events and concerts.

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They will do this by printing their second dose vaccination receipt on the government website until an “enhanced” certificate and smartphone app are available on October 22.

Employees in industries who must have proof of vaccination will be asked to enforce the rules.

Rory Ring, CEO of Sault Ste. Marie Chamber of Commerce said the Ontario government has targeted high-risk environments that often create higher gatherings and no masking in their quest to keep people safe.

“Indoor dining rooms, gyms and bars are areas where a spread can easily exist,” he said.

It is on this premise that the Ontario government decided to implement a proof of vaccination policy to prevent the spread of COVID-19 and, ultimately, to prevent further containment.

“This is really the underlying principle behind it. The delta variant can wreak havoc in the healthcare system and science shows that unvaccinated people are 42 times more likely to end up in an intensive care unit, ”he said.

Ring said the Chamber of Commerce is doing its part to help its members understand government policy and the role they need to play in keeping their businesses, employees and customers safe. A webinar was conducted by the chamber last week to address the initial release of the information and another is expected in the near future as details materialize.

“Some people have suggested that a regional approach would be more appropriate, especially in Algoma, for example, where the intensity of positive cases has been very low. But, we have to consider that there is still displacement in Ontario and the province recognizes that this could spread the virus, ”he said.

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APH has published tools and FAQs on its website to help companies understand the concept and implement their own internal policies.

The health unit has developed a Vaccine Policing Toolkit for Workplaces in Algoma that outlines the basic information and resources businesses need to design a COVID-19 vaccination policy and strengthen confidence in vaccination.

The toolkit explains the role of employers and the workplace benefits of immunization promotion, summarizes provincial guidelines, and offers tools for identifying risks, tracking vaccine information, and providing guidance to employers, among others. others.

Ring said chamber members had mixed feelings about the passport system. Some are hesitant about the burden this will place on their businesses and others do not agree with the policy at all.

“It may be an additional challenge for companies to manage this policy, especially for an industry that has already experienced a lot of difficulties during the pandemic,” he said. “They really need to know and understand how to implement the policy for the employees and what challenges it will create.”

For example, Ring said there was a fear that confrontations between customers and employees could occur if an individual is denied entry to a premises because proof of vaccination is not available.

“Individuals will have to recognize that they still have a choice. We cannot force vaccines on individuals, but people always have the choice to eat on the patio or take out if they have chosen not to be vaccinated, ”he said.

Ring said he hopes the community treats businesses and their employees with respect.

“We just hope that everyone, regardless of their perspective, will be courteous to our business owners and their employees and will not engage in behavior that may be viewed as intimidating or potentially dangerous,” he said. he declares.

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