Regina approves vaccine requirement for city-run facilities

Those entering city-run facilities in Regina, will be required to show proof of vaccine, or a negative Covid-test, as of November 15th.

The move comes as daily new cases of COVID-19 in Saskatchewan have reached record levels.

Mayor Sandra Masters says the move was a no-brainer when it comes to the protection of city staff and residents who rely on city facilities.

“Vaccines are safe, they are proven to complications from Covid, from the transmissibility of Covid, from death, and from hospitalization,” said Masters. “I completely respect and honour people’s decision not to proceed with vaccinations, but given where we’re seeing our hospitalizations go, vaccines are the safest way that we can continue to operate, relatively, normally throughout society.”

The vote was unanimous, except for Ward 10 Councillor Landon Mohl, who left the meeting briefly before the vote took place.

Masters says even though Regina isn’t being hit particularly hard by the virus right now, the city learned lessons during the third wave earlier in the year.

“We know masking works in tight spaces like buses, we know that in order to keep employees safe in facilities, that we’re looking for proof of vaccination from the public attending those facilities,” said Masters. “Also, to reduce the transmission where children are playing, we learned a lesson in March, April, and May, that we’ve carried forward to make the decision today.”

As they went to City Hall, Councillors were met by dozens of protesters voicing their concerns about the mandate.

One of the 17 delegations, many spreading false information, was SUN President Tracy Zambory who shared a first-hand account of the difficulties faced by healthcare workers during the pandemic.

Masters says it really hit hard to hear just what doctors and nurses are dealing with.

“I was important to deliver a message from the frontline workers that they’re incredibly tired, some of them kind of at the end of their ropes in terms of energy levels,” said Masters. “What’s happening right now in the fourth wave, they’re living it every day, and it was important that she deliver that message to everyone.”

The original requirement was set to take hold September 20th, but due to delays in the passport technology, a decision was made to wait until November.

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