Waterloo Regional Police announce new COVID-19 vaccine policy for members

File photo. Waterloo Regional Police. Kevin Nielsen / Global News

Waterloo Regional Police say they issued a COVID-19 vaccine directive on Monday, joining an ever-expanding list of public employers across the region that have done so.

Similar to a policy currently in place for educators, the new directive will require officers to provide full proof of vaccination or they will need to submit to rapid antigen testing on a regular basis.

Read more: COVID-19: Kitchener hospital issuing suspension notices to unvaccinated staff

Last month, Chief Bryan Larkin asked members of the service to disclose whether they were fully vaccinated or not.

He says 88.5 per cent said they were, a number which is fairly even among officers and civilian employees.

“We’re very pleased with the number of members that voluntarily complied in disclosing their vaccination status,” Larkin said.

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Read more: Kitchener, Waterloo announce mandatory COVID-19 vaccine policies for staff, volunteers

The chief says those who do not submit their numbers or are not vaccinated will have to undergo regular rapid antigen testing

“Any member who is unvaccinated will be subjected to additional infection prevention and control measures, including providing regular proof of negative COVID 19 rapid antigen testing prior to arriving at work,” Larkin explained.

He also said that they will miss out on working any of the security jobs that police are often hired for.

“Uniformed officers who are requesting to work special duties and overtime assignments are required to be double vaccinated, which is in compliance with many of those clients that request additional form to the various sites, including recreation facilities, as well as municipal buildings,” he said.

Anyone who joins the service going forward will also need to be fully vaccinated.

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