September 21, 2021
The ORFA remains committed to the health and safety of all members, especially to those returning to the classroom to access ORFA education and training courses. ORFA’s Return to Classroom COVID-19 Safety Plan outlines the policies and procedures the ORFA, in partnership with the host facility, and each participant, will follow to mitigate potential risks and hazards during the COVID-19 pandemic. We remind all participants that personal safety is always an individual commitment that when implemented will help protect other participants and society.
In consideration of ORFA’s commitment to personal and community safety, the Association supports the evidence-based recommendation of Health Canada and the National Advisory Committee on the added benefit that immunization plays as part of a workplace COVID-19 exposure reduction plan. Vaccination is an additional tool that can support facility managements hand disinfection, face protection and social distancing programs.
Effective October 1, 2021, the ORFA requires all existing and future employees, volunteers, instructors, guest speakers, and other contractors who are invited to in-person Association events, to be fully vaccinated against the hazard of COVID-19 to support the health and safety of our workplaces and our community. Disclosure of vaccination status is required, and acceptable proof includes documentation verifying receipt of a vaccination series approved in Canada (i.e. Pfizer-BioNTech, Moderna AstraZeneca/COVISHIELD or Janssen/Johnson & Johnson), listed for emergency use by the World Health Organization or approved by Health Canada. The list of accepted vaccines may expand in the future. Questions regarding COVID-19 vaccines are best answered by your primary healthcare provider.
Employees who are unable to be vaccinated must provide written proof of a medical reason from a physician or nurse practitioner that sets out the medical reason for not being fully vaccinated against COVID-19 and the effective time-period for the medical exemption. Employees without an approved accommodation plan and not fully vaccinated against the hazard of COVID-19, in accordance with the implementation requirements of this policy, may elect to request vacation leave, time off in lieu of overtime (if available) or a leave of absence without pay. Employees without a medical exemption and not fully vaccinated against the hazard of COVID-19 must attend a mandatory education course on how the COVID-19 vaccines work and their benefits, vaccine safety the risks of not being vaccinated and the possible side effects of the vaccine in addition to complying with the requirements set out in this policy.
Volunteers, instructors, guest speakers, and other contractors who are unable to provide documentation verifying receipt of a vaccination series approved in Canada will not be engaged by the ORFA for delivery of their services for in-person, indoor events.
In addition to vaccination requirements, the ORFA will continue to follow provincial regulations including the wearing of masks, social distancing, and event capacity limits as required for indoor events.
All personal information, including personal health information, will be collected, used, disclosed, retained, and safeguarded in accordance with applicable ORFA policies and privacy legislation. The ORFA will ask all to provide a physical or digital copy of their Ontario Ministry of Health COVID-19 Vaccination Receipt.
- For ORFA staff – physical or digital copies of vaccination receipts to be provided by ORFA staff and will be placed in personnel files stored in accordance with privacy legislation*.
- For all others – physical or digital copies of vaccination receipts to be provided by volunteers, instructors, guest speakers, and other contractors and stored in accordance with privacy legislation*.
*Reference to privacy legislation can be obtained under The Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Manual as this is a general guide to the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act (FIPPA) and the Municipal Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act (MFIPPA) and administration of these Acts.
This policy is a temporary measure to reduce the risks of the hazards of COVID-19 and may be amended as new public health directives and/or provincial or federal government legislation, regulations and/or orders are formalized. Any such directives, legislation, regulations, or orders shall take precedence until such time as this policy may be amended to conform to the new requirements.
For members who have concerns about returning to in-person, indoor events, please consider ORFA’s online course options.
Read updated COVID-19 information.