Masking, working from home and introducing rapid testing are all part of a strengthened effort to ensure the health and safety of the City of Lethbridge workforce, the public and the continuation of essential services as COVID cases continue to rise in the region.
In an announcement to all staff on Friday afternoon, City Manager, Craig Dalton, said the new measures come after careful consideration and monitoring of health data.
"Given the changing COVID situation, we made the important decision to reinstate enhanced COVID protocols and introduce a mandatory rapid testing program within the workplace," says Dalton. "These decisions have been made to protect the health and safety of staff and public and to ensure we can maintain essential City services for our community."
While the logistics of the employee rapid testing program are still being developed, it is anticipated a contractor will be hired to implement the testing and it may take several weeks until it can be operationalized. Rapid testing will be mandatory for all employees with the option to opt out with proof of full vaccination.
At this time, staff who have the ability to work from home are being mandated to do so and in alignment with the provincial guidelines, all staff are required to wear face coverings in City facilities, vehicles and whenever there's no physical barrier or distancing of 2 meters is not possible. Layering as many levels of protection as possible will provide the best opportunity to maintain the health and wellbeing of City staff and the community.
Additionally, the Alberta Government also announced new restrictions late last week to help curb the growing COVID case numbers including mandatory masks for all indoor public spaces and workplaces. For details on the provincial guidelines visit www.alberta.ca/covid.