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Ottawa police requiring unvaccinated members to get tested against COVID-19 every 72 hours

The police service says it is estimated upwards of 83 per cent of staff have been fully immunized against COVID-19, with more members continuing to get their vaccinations.
2018-07-12 ottawa police headquarters MV2
Ottawa Police Service headquarters on Elgin Street. Mike Vlasveld/ OttawaMatters

The Ottawa Police Service's (OPS) new vaccination policy requires unvaccinated staff members and officers to get tested for COVID-19 every three days.

According to the OPS, the policy, which came into effect on Friday, October 22, requires members to disclose their vaccination status or submit a valid medical exemption.

Those who do not provide a valid exemption or proof of vaccination will be required to provide a negative PCR or antigen rapid test result every 72 hours, and complete an education course.

"Our goal is to make sure that our members do get fully vaccinated, and the vast, vast majority of our members are already double-vaccinated," Ottawa Police Chief Peter Sloly told the media on Monday, October 25. "That will continue on under this policy -- the effort to make sure our members are educated, engaged, and ultimately enabled."

Sloly adds the policy was developed in full consultation with Ottawa Public Health (OPH) Medical Officer of Health Dr. Vera Etches, and is in compliance with municipal and provincial standards.

The police service says it has estimated upwards of 83 per cent of OPS employees have been fully immunized against COVID-19, with more members continuing to get their vaccinations.

"Our own service, I think,  has been a standout in the province around making sure that our members have the education and the equipment that they need to do their job safely, and to deliver those services to the public in the safest and healthiest manner," Sloly explained.

Sloly says throughout the pandemic, there have been 10 cases of COVID-19 among OPS staff, with only two stemming from the workplace.

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