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All unvaccinated State workers required to take regular Covid-19 tests

All unvaccinated State workers required to take regular Covid-19 tests

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All employees of the State who have not been vaccinated will be required to be tested regularly for COVID-19.

 This ultimatum was issued through a memorandum on March 31, headed, “Policy on vaccination and testing of public sector workers”.  

 It noted that Cabinet on Wednesday March 24, directed that all employees of the State who have not been vaccinated are required to be tested regularly for COVID-19, up to once every two weeks, based on risk levels as determined by the health authorities.  

 The memorandum also says that workers who have received their first and/or second dose of an approved COVID-19 vaccine are to submit copies of their vaccination records to their respective ministries/departments of agencies by April 7, 2021.  

 Additionally, that Attorney General Jaundy Martin was requested to advise on the legal implications with respect to non-compliance with this policy, while Cabinet Secretary Katiann Barnwell-Scott was instructed to convene a meeting with all permanent secretaries and heads of departments to communicate the decision of Cabinet.  

 The release of the memorandum followed an emergency general meeting of the St. Vincent and the Grenadines Teachers’ Union (SVGTU) which was held on Tuesday to inform teachers of their rights as it relates to mandatory testing of educators that work at the nation’s schools.  

 The media was not allowed in the Zoom meeting and up to press time, no official release from the SVGTU had been issued, but the gist of what took place was hinted by an educator who wrote in the SVGTU’s Zoom meeting chat, “my position against the tyrannical move of the government is, no mandatory vaccine, no mandatory testing. I am ready to take the severest action any violation of my freedom of conscience”.   

SEARCHLIGHT was reliably informed that several teachers expressed concerns over the government’s COVID-19 protocols as it relates to the reopening of schools on Monday April 12, among them, mandatory COVID-19 testing every two weeks for teachers who are not vaccinated.

Legal counsel Jomo Thomas was in attendance and it was revealed that he told teachers that the government cannot force them to be tested for COVID-19.

Last week, during a press conference hosted by the SVGTU, it was stressed that members will not be bullied or forced into taking the COVID-19 vaccine.

Acting first vice president, Vanrick Williams had said the union’s membership is aware that it is not mandatory to take the COVID-19 vaccine at this time, but they felt that it is just a matter of time before it is compulsory.

People have openly voiced their opposition to taking the COVID 19 vaccine and there are fears of a catastropy if the volcano erupts explosively and people are moved to shelters at a time when only a small percentage of the adult population has been vaccinated.