WINNIPEG - A school division in southern Manitoba is concerned that many of their staff could be calling in or emailing their resignations instead of presenting proof of immunization against COVID-19 to their employer or taking regular rapid tests — now that, as of today, Manitoba’s 12,000 civil servants are required to make the choice.
Hanover School Board Chair Ron Falk says he’s worried vaccine-hesitant division employees may now be looking into a career change or early retirement rather than face routine testing. Falk says many staff members have been weighing their options, and he is certain at least some will leave their jobs. Vaccine uptake in Hanover is currently at 51.4 per cent, while over 86 per cent of Manitobans have received at least one dose.
The Southern Health Region opted out of placing vaccine clinics in Winkler-area schools in Garden Valley School Division after consulting with parents. But the Hanover School Division says it will hold the clinics in all of its schools for students ages 12 to 17. Students age 15 and under will need a signed parental consent form in order to get vaccinated at the clinics.
Pointing out that current law gives children 16 and older the right to provide individual informed consent, Hanover School Division Interim Superintendent Shelley Amos says she encourages parents and guardians to have conversations about the clinics with their children, and to learn about government regulations regarding health care for children by visiting the ProtectMB website.
The clinics are expected to run for four to six weeks, and are open to anyone born on or before Dec. 31, 2009.