COVID-19: City of Peterborough ‘managing’ staffing levels as cases rise in region

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The City of Peterborough says, unlike some municipalities, COVID-19 among employees hasn’t caused major impacts on services — yet.

In an email to Global News Peterborough, the city says it has a workforce of approximately 1,000 and that the number of employees absent due to illness or need isolate as a close contact for COVID-19 “fluctuates daily.”

“The city is managing staffing to maintain services as possible during the pandemic, following provincial regulations and the public health guidance,” said Sharron Hayton, customer service coordinator. “At this time, the City has not had to pause services due to COVID-19-related absences.”

It was a sentiment echoed by Jodi Denoble, the city’s manager of emergency and risk management. She says the city is closely tracking staff who are indicating a need to isolate — either due to having symptoms or being identified as a household contact.

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She said the city has a corporate business continuity plan to monitor staffing levels.

Read more: COVID-19: Ontario restrictions prompt Peterborough to close some municipal facilities

“We have had meetings and are reviewing on a division-by-division basis and adapting our services and staffing levels, accordingly,” said Denoble.

“So far we’ve been able to manage — we aren’t in a critical state like some of our other municipal colleagues are finding themselves in,” she added.

However, Denoble cautioned the city is seeing absences among employees.

“We are continuing to monitor … and if need be, we will make adjustments at service levels and redeploy staff,” she said. “But so far we are managing with the plans we have in place.”

Peterborough Mayor Diane Therrien says the city has continually made adjustments to services and staffing since the pandemic was declared in March 2020.

“Two years into the pandemic we’ve gotten used to redeploying staff from facilities that are closed to other areas where they are needed,” she said. “Most of our folks have been extremely amenable and adaptable to that.”

In late November 2021, the city reported 97 per cent of its employees were compliant with its vaccination policy.

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As of 4:45 p.m. Thursday,  Peterborough Public Health reported 1,153 active cases of COVID-19 within its jurisdiction.

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