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Kawartha Lakes CAO discusses recent pandemic news’ impact on the municipality

DAN CEARNS, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, for The Standard

KAWARTHA LAKES: CAO Ron Taylor provided councillors with a COVID-19 related update, during a meeting on Tuesday, February 22nd.

“From a local health unit perspective, they have been updating, week over week, transmission is gradually declining. Positivity rates are also declining. There still are a few outbreaks throughout the health unit district,” Mr. Taylor said.

With the province having moved to the next step of the reopening process, earlier this month, Mr. Taylor explained capacity limits would be removed for all indoor settings, and proof of vaccination requirements would be lifted on March 1st.

However, he said masking requirements would remain in effect.

The CAO talked about how the Omicron wave has impacted city staffing and what staffing levels are looking like now.

“Obviously, with this wave [of COVID-19], we had a number of staff [who] were offline, because of screening and isolation,” Mr. Taylor said.

“There [were] still over 200 staff [who] were affected in this wave and phase, and that translated into about 1,200 lost workdays. So, we’re not out of the woods yet. The numbers are certainly, as of the last couple of weeks for sure, improving dramatically. So, we are seeing a decrease in those numbers.”

Regarding vaccinations, Mr. Taylor said the city is continuing “to encourage all staff [members] to take advantage of ongoing vaccination.” However, he added, their policy would be amended, as of March 1st, to discontinue “employee testing requirements for entering and exiting the workplace,” in many city-run departments.

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