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Park district staff will be vaccinated

The Homewood-Flossmoor Park District board of commissioners adopted a new personnel policy that requires all staff members to be vaccinated against the COVID-19 virus.

“Our obligation as an organization is the health and well-being of the patrons we serve,” said Brent Bachus, president of the board.

The Homewood-Flossmoor Park District board of commissioners adopted a new personnel policy that requires all staff members to be vaccinated against the COVID-19 virus.

“Our obligation as an organization is the health and well-being of the patrons we serve,” said Brent Bachus, president of the board.

The board unanimously approved the policy at the Oct. 19 board meeting. It is estimated between 80-90% of staff was already vaccinated before the policy was adopted. Those who are not have until Nov. 3 to get the first of two required COVID vaccine shots. The policy covers both full- and part-time employees. Medical exemptions would be allowed.

“The park district places the highest regard for the safety of our employees in everything we do,” Debbie Kopas, parks executive director, informed the board. She said supervisors shared information on vaccinations before the board’s decision.

Kopas said she and other staff members routinely get calls from people who want to participate in park activities but are concerned about their safety. One question that comes up repeatedly is whether there is a vaccination mandate.

She said she worked with attorneys on the policy which complies with all applicable laws and is based on guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Illinois Department of Public Health and other local authorities.

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