Alberta oil company requires workers be fully vaccinated or rapid test negative for COVID-19

WATCH: More than a dozen COVID-19 outbreaks at Alberta's oilsands have made more than 1,000 workers sick. Heather Yourex-West reports on the vaccination efforts underway, and how the problem goes beyond the province's borders.

Effective Friday, Canadian Natural Resources Ltd. will require everyone on its work sites to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 or take a rapid test.

This is an extension of the oil company’s previous COVID-19 measures, which include documented daily health checks, screening protocols prior to boarding company transportation, physical distancing measures in camp and dining rooms, stringent response protocols when staff are symptomatic and mandatory mask wearing while indoors.

Those precautions will remain in place.

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Inside the oilsands site that has seen Canada’s largest workplace COVID-19 outbreak

Then, starting Aug. 27, CNRL “will be confirming that all site personnel are fully vaccinated for COVID-19. If we are unable to confirm immunization status, personnel can participate in our rapid testing program as an alternative,” Julie Woo, a spokesperson for the company, told Global News.

CNRL said it also has medical personnel on site at oilsands facilities, including a physician, to complete health assessments — including point-of-care rapid testing of symptomatic site personnel and close contacts of positive cases as well as responding to any medical needs.

Read more:

Alberta oil sands group starts offering on-site COVID-19 vaccines as CNRL confirms 2 deaths

CNRL and AHS have been offering on-site vaccination clinics for employees and contractors.

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Geographical differences in vaccination coverage prompt call from Alberta doctors to boost uptake

The Regional Municipality of Wood Buffalo has a significantly lower rate of immunization than the province as a whole.

As of Thursday, just 33.6 per cent of RMWB residents were fully vaccinated, compared to 69 per cent of Albertans.

In RMWB, 44.1 per cent have received one dose of vaccine, compared to 77.5 per cent across the province.

© 2021 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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