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Catholic school division's vaccination procedure in place

RDCRS employees are required to either be fully vaccinated or be required to take two rapid tests per week, or have a valid medical exemption
MVT stock COVID-19

INNISFAIL - The 11,000-student Red Deer Catholic Regional Schools (RDCRS) has implemented its new COVID-19 vaccination administrative procedure, say officials.

Under the procedure, all full-time, part-time, hourly, substitute, permanent, temporary and casual employees are required to either be fully vaccinated or be required to take two rapid tests per week, or have a valid medical exemption. 

As well, all employees must disclose their current vaccination status, and if fully vaccinated provide proof of vaccinations in the form of a QR Code.

“It’s been a long time to go through the process (preparing the procedure),” Ryan Ledene, associate superintendent of human resources, told the Albertan. “I would say this is one of the most labour intensive (harm) mitigation strategies we have used. I think we’ve done it in as expedient a way as possible.”

With the province providing free rapid test kits to the division, “that has allowed us not to have to access education dollars for tests. There has been a minimal cost to the division for this program," he said.

The procedure does not apply to students, who cannot be denied access to public education in Alberta based on vaccination status. 

Employees who believe they are not able to comply with the procedure must submit a request for exemption to the division. The request may include having to provide information such as a medical exemption from a licensed physician or letter from an accredited religious leader.

Non-compliance with the new procedure, including but not limited to refusal to comply with rapid testing requirements or the provision of false or misleading information, may result in the employee being subject to administrative action such as leave of absence without pay and benefits, or disciplinary action including termination of employment.

Third parties, including contractors, on-site partners, will be required to have policies and/or procedures with respect to COVID-19 and provide confirmation of same with the division.

Visitors, parents and volunteers on division property for more than 15 minutes during normal hours will be required to show proof of vaccination or proof of a negative PCR or rapid test.

Similar to a vaccination procedure put in place in Chinook’s Edge School Division effective Jan. 10, the RDRCS procedure will remain in place as long as COVID-19 remains a “realistic and foreseeable workplace hazard” and will be reviewed monthly by the superintendent of schools.

RDCRS includes schools in Olds and Innisfail.