Resolution would require all city employees to be fully vaccinated or face weekly testing

Alderman Robert J. Bauman has introduced Common Council legislation directing the Department of Employee Relations (DER) to develop a policy requiring all City employees to provide proof of full vaccination against COVID-19 or provide a weekly negative COVID-19 test as a condition of reporting to work.

File #210627 notes that as the COVID-19 pandemic continues to sicken and take the lives of Americans, public health and safety is the responsibility of everyone. The Delta variant of COVID-19 now makes up the majority of new COVID-19 cases in the United States and is 50% more contagious than the Alpha variant, which is itself 50% more contagious than the original virus. The resolution adds that vaccinations against COVID-19 are safe and highly effective and widespread vaccination is the only solution to stopping the ongoing pandemic.

Alderman Bauman, chair of the Public Works Committee, said the most recent surge in COVID19 infections, hospitalizations and deaths has, in large part, become “a pandemic of the unvaccinated,” with rates climbing significantly within communities with low vaccination rates.

“All City employees deserve to work in an environment where the risk of infection by COVID-19 has been minimized, and this legislation will help us create that safer workplace,” Alderman Bauman said.

The policy shall require either of the following:

Vaccination or testing/ADD ONE

1. Proof of full vaccination to be provided in a manner determined by the DER.

2. Proof of a negative COVID-19 diagnostic test (not an antibody test) at least once per week, to be provided in a manner determined by the DER. Such employees shall also be required to wear face coverings at all times while in the workplace.

Any employees unwilling to comply with the policy will not be permitted to report to work and may be subject to disciplinary action. The Department of Employee Relations will begin implementation of the new proof-of-vaccination and mandatory testing policy within one month of adoption of the resolution.

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