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Alberta public employees required to show proof of vaccine or regular negative tests


EDMONTON — Alberta says its 25,000 public sector workers will soon be required to show proof of COVID-19 vaccination or regular negative tests.

The employees must be fully vaccinated by Nov. 30 and, if not vaccinated after that date, will have to show negative tests paid for at their own expense.

Tim Grant, the head of the public service, says staff who refuse to comply won’t be fired and will be placed on unpaid leave.

School boards will also be asked to implement a vaccine mandate for workers, including teachers.

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Alberta is dealing with a COVID-19 crisis that has seen well over 1,000 new cases a day for weeks while filling intensive care wards to almost twice their normal capacity.

Premier Jason Kenney says the province is finalizing an agreement to receive up to 10 medical staff from the Canadian Armed Forces, along with more from the Red Cross and Newfoundland and Labrador.

Doctors have called for a swift lockdown to stem the tide of COVID-19 patients, but Kenney says the government is waiting to see if recently implemented health restrictions work before taking further action.

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