Toronto’s public health department has “paused” planned events in some recreation programs due to the loss of some unvaccinated staff.
According to a city spokesperson, the health department will not be immunizing certain locations for the time being, as staff were unintentionally exempted from city immunization laws through a regulatory loophole and they can no longer be contacted. The city has shut down 27 of its 71 recreation programs, including swimming.
The city has allowed the organizations to continue serving unvaccinated staff.
Some of the unvaccinated employees are temporary workers.
“Administrative processes were not followed, and staff were inadvertently not informed that they could no longer have unvaccinated immunizations,” city spokesperson Anne Marie Aikins told the Washington Post.
However, the city of Toronto is “restating its commitment to do everything it can to help protect people’s health” and “will continue to engage with organizations to ensure that any staff who are medically exempt from vaccinating are placed on appropriate projects.”
Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, Prince William and Duchess Catherine visited Toronto this year to meet with other children and programs. Some of these organizations included Guide Dogs for the Blind, Leucadia School and Orphanage Express.
The couple’s visit garnered backlash from the Canadian Vaccination Network, which published an open letter to the duke and duchess, warning that by not allowing unvaccinated staff, they would spread diseases that would put children and adults who had not been vaccinated at risk.
The letter was published in a Toronto news outlet, the Toronto Star.
Aikins told the Washington Post that the city sent out a letter to organizations, including the duke and duchess’s visit, outlining the protocols.
“Every organization has had a conference call to stress to staff that health, sanitation and population health are essential when these individuals are on site,” she said.
At one recreation center, of the 15 positions that need to be filled, four of them are scheduled to be filled within the next few weeks.