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City of Toronto to cancel some recreation classes amid COVID-19 vaccination policy

Click to play video: 'City of Toronto’s focus is having fully-vaccinated staff, not COVID-19 testing: official' City of Toronto’s focus is having fully-vaccinated staff, not COVID-19 testing: official
WATCH ABOVE: City of Toronto's focus is having fully-vaccinated staff, not COVID-19 testing: official – Aug 19, 2021

The City of Toronto says some recreation classes will be paused due to staffing shortages as a result of non-compliance of its COVID-19 vaccination policy.

Officials said managers and supervisors will be holding meetings with part-time recreation staff who have not yet complied with the policy that requires a full course of vaccine by Oct. 30.

If staff are not vaccinated after the meeting, staff will be suspended for up to six weeks until proof of vaccination is provided, officials said.

The City said as of Tuesday, 91 per cent of workers in Parks, Forestry & Recreation are fully immunized against COVID-19.

Read more: City of Toronto suspends nearly 250 workers not vaccinated against COVID-19

Officials said some affected programs may include fitness classes, swim lessons, sports, dance, art and general interest.

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There are about 69 classes out of 6,400 run by the City that have been cancelled which affects about 400 people out of more than 44,000 enrolled, Mayor John Tory said Wednesday.

“Mitigation efforts to avoid program cancellations are underway and include the reallocation of staff to registered instructional programs, the use of overtime and the placement of newly-hired staff where possible,” the City said in a news released.

“It is important to note that the cancellation of a class does not indicate that the class’s instructor has not been vaccinated, as staff are being reallocated to different locations and programs in an effort to minimize these service impacts.”

The City said it will be contacting anyone who’s had their class cancelled and those registered will get credits. It also said it is ramping up hiring efforts to ensure staff is in place for the upcoming Winter season  — the Fall session is underway with five weeks remaining for most programs.

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