In keeping with the recent published Gazetted COVID-19 Order which states that persons must be vaccinated or present a negative PCR test before entering a public building, the Mayor and City Council of Georgetown will be holding an aggressive vaccination drive later this month.
Town Clerk (ag) Candace Nelson told a news conference on Friday that the objective of the drive is to encourage and facilitate workers getting vaccinated. While the council is not mandating workers to be vaccinated, Nelson said they will not be able to execute their duties if they are not vaccinated. The council has over 700 employees some of whom are frontline workers.
“It is important that the council ensure that its employees are treated with respect and care and that they are vaccinated appropriately,” Nelson said.
The vaccination drive is expected to be held mid-September and is also intended to help alleviate pressure on the local health system and reduce hospitalisation and deaths due to the dreaded COVID-19 virus.
Nelson said she has formally written the Mayor Ubraj Narine to discuss this important public health event.
Letters were also written to the various heads of departments requesting information of how many persons are vaccinated and unvaccinated in their departments.
However, Nelson said she was informed that the Mayor has written to heads of department asking them not to reply to her request.
“At this time it is not a decision to enforce that aspect of the Gazetted Order. What we plan to do is to have a sensitisation campaign and that is what we will be starting shortly, we will be encouraging persons to take the vaccine,” Nelson explained.
After the vaccination drive, if it is found that some the council’s employees are still not vaccinated, Nelson said the plan is to hold ‘one on one’ talks with those persons on whatever doubts they may have about taking the jab.
“Then we will decide if we are going to go towards PCR testing,” Nelson said.
The Ministry of Health has identified a number of communities in Georgetown as COVID hotspots; these include Kitty, Sophia and Cummings Lodge. The city also has over 500 active COVID-19 cases.