In a media release Thursday, the Columbia Basin Trust said it is moving forward with implementation of a proof of vaccination policy requiring staff and Board members to be fully vaccinated by the end of November.
In the release, Johnny Strilaeff, President & CEO of the Trust said “it is critically important we remain vigilant in our efforts to support a safe and healthy workplace.”
“The decision to implement a proof of vaccination policy was made after careful consideration of a range of issues, including workplace health and safety as well as legally protected rights under human rights laws,” Strilaeff explained.
“We are committed to implementing the policy in a manner that respects this full range of considerations.” The Columbia Basin Trust was created in 1995 to assist people living in the Basin most affected by the Columbia River Treaty — an agreement in 1961 between Canada and the United States to build dams on the upper basin of the Columbia River for power and flood control benefits to both countries.
Troughout the pandemic, the Trust said it has taken guidance from the Provincial Health Officer, Interior Health and WorkSafeBC when developing workplace health and safety protocols.
The Trust said it will continue to adapt workplace policies as recommended by these agencies, and a proof of vaccination policy is the most recent example of a further layer of protection against the spread of COVID-19 in the workplace.
“The new policy is aligned with the Province of BC’s direction for public sector organizations, along with several other Crown corporations, local governments and private sector businesses in the province,” the media release said.
“The initial phase of the policy will include employees and Board members; however, further work is being done to investigate expansion of the policy to include contractors, suppliers, and other stakeholders with whom the Trust may interact with on a face-to-face basis.”
The media release said there is currently no requirement to present proof of vaccination to visit any one of the Trust’s four locations in the region; however, there are strict protocols that must be respected while visiting.
Thursday, the BC Ministry of Health reported 715 new cases of COVID-19, for a total of 200,249 cases in the province.
There are 4,965 active cases of COVID-19 in the province and 192,819 people who tested positive have recovered. Of the active cases, 377 individuals are in hospital and 136 are in intensive care. The remaining people are recovering at home in self-isolation.
Note: Intensive care numbers are a subset of the total in hospital. They are not in addition to the number of people in hospital.
The new/active cases include:
- 285 new cases in Fraser Health — Total active cases: 1,971
- 60 new cases in Vancouver Coastal Health — Total active cases: 686
- 137 new cases in Interior Health — Total active cases: 808
- 172 new cases in Northern Health — Total active cases: 937
- 61 new cases in Island Health — Total active cases: 504
- no new cases of a people who reside outside of Canada — Total active cases: 59
In the past 24 hours, four new deaths (Northern Health) have been reported, for an overall total of 2,096.
Columbia Basin Trust supports the ideas and efforts of the people in the Columbia Basin. To learn more about the Trust’s programs and initiatives, and how it helps deliver social, economic and environmental benefits to the Basin, visit ourtrust.org or call 1.800.505.8998.