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Hamilton Mayor Fred Eisenberger calls on Province for mandatory sick and isolation pay

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Hamilton Mayor Fred Eisenberger calls on Province for mandatory sick and isolation pay

The first COVID-19 vaccine clinic in Hamilton was launched as a collaboration between Hamilton Health Sciences, St. Joseph’s Healthcare Hamilton, Primary Care Physicians, and Hamilton Paramedic Services alongside Hamilton Public Health Services. (HHS)

Hamilton Mayor Fred Eisenberger and nearly a dozen of his peers are calling on the Ontario Government to implement a program that would see workers compensated for sick days and during isolation after a positive COVID-19 test result.

“As the pandemic continues, we urge the province to establish mandated sick pay as an emergency benefit measure that would require all employers provide sick pay for the required 14-day isolation period for employees who test positive for the virus,” said Eisenberger.

We need to eliminate the barriers that discourage people from staying home, such as financial factors, and mandated sick pay is an important way we can do that. Investing in the safety of our communities with immediate supports including paid sick days, safe isolation facilities, and direct financial help should remain a top priority during this pandemic for all orders of government.”

Monday (Jan. 18), Mayors and Chairs from the 11 largest municipal governments across the Greater Toronto and Hamilton Area held their regular weekly meeting to discuss the ongoing response to the COVID-19 resurgence across the region.

They also discussed their concerns with the supply of vaccines and the implications it could have on the vaccine rollout.

“While the vaccine supply is ultimately up to the federal government, the GTHA Mayors and Chairs are committed to doing everything to support the other levels of government to ensure a timely immunization rollout,” said a spokesperson for the City of Hamilton in an official media release.

At least three provinces are now temporarily delaying or pausing COVID-19 vaccination programs amid fallout from Pfizer’s decision to reduce Canada’s vaccine deliveries over the next month.

More than half a million Canadians have been vaccinated against COVID-19 thus far, and more than 822,000 doses of the two approved vaccines have been delivered from Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna.

But all provinces are being forced to revisit their vaccination programs after Pfizer suddenly told Canada Friday (Jan. 15) it would be cutting the doses delivered in half over the next four weeks, while it upgrades its factory in Belgium.

Pfizer was to ship 735,150 doses to Canada between Jan. 18 and Feb. 14.

Canada’s deliveries after the partial pause will be bigger than previously expected so Pfizer can fulfil its contract to deliver four million doses by the end of March.

About 600,000 doses have been delivered from Pfizer so far.

Ontario’s chief medical officer Dr. David Williams said Saturday his province would delay giving the second dose of the Pfizer vaccine to 42 days, instead of the recommended 21 days.

The 28-day schedule for Moderna’s vaccine will remain intact, said Williams.

 

With files from The Canadian Press

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