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BC Hydro announces COVID-19 vaccine mandate

Employees, contractors will need to be fully vaxxed by Nov 22.
Upstream view of the Site C approach channel at top left and the powerhouse, generating station, and spillways at centre, June 2021.

BC Hydro says it will require proof of COVID-19 vaccination from all employees and contractors working at its work sites and facilities across the province, including Site C.

More than 6,000 BC Hydro employees will be required to be fully vaccinated by Nov. 22, the company announced Thursday afternoon.

Consultants and employees of contractors and sub-contractors will be required to be fully vaccinated by Jan. 10, 2022.

"BC Hydro will continue to work with its employees, unions and contractors in the coming weeks to further define the vaccination policy and provide details for accommodations for those who are unable to be vaccinated due to a medically-approved exemption," the company said.

As of Oct. 7, there were 1,647 workers reported at the Site C camp outside Fort St. John, according to BC Hydro. There were 14 active cases of COVID-19 reported, with 24 workers isolating at camp and another 28 isolating at home.

Earlier this week, Health Minister Adrian Dix said 3,575 vaccines doses have been given to workers at the work site, including 1,985 first doses and 1,590 second doses.

Dix said of the 2,000 workers who have reported their vaccination status to date, 83% are fully vaccinated and 7% only partially. Five per cent are not vaccinated, and another five per cent did not disclose their status, he said.

In August, the workforce was reported at just over 5,000 workers.

BC Hydro has reported 274 of COVID-19 cases since the start of the pandemic in March 2020. The majority of cases, 244 of them, have been reported so far this year.

Email Managing Editor Matt Preprost at [email protected]