New York City will require municipal workers to get vaccinated against COVID-19 by mid-September, Mayor Bill de Blasio announced Monday. Those who don’t will have to take weekly tests instead.
The policy, which will apply to roughly 340,000 city employees, including police officers, teachers and firefighters, dovetails with a broader push for vaccine mandates in the city as the highly contagious delta variant of the coronavirus sparks renewed national concern.
Workers will have to show proof of vaccination by Sept. 13, the first full day of school in the city. Those who decline will have to get tested once a week, de Blasio said. Unvaccinated city staffers who work indoors will also have to wear a face mask at all times.
“Either get vaccinated, which is far preferable, or get tested once a week,” the mayor said at a press conference rolling out the policy. “This is about our recovery. This is about what we need to to do bring back New York City. This is about keeping people safe. This is about making sure our families get through COVID OK. This is about jobs, you name it.”
The mayor also urged private companies to follow the city’s lead and implement vaccine mandates of their own when possible, noting they have more freedom to “set their own rules” than the government.
Monday’s announcement follows a similar mandate for employees at city-run hospitals and health clinics, set to take effect at the beginning of August.
As of Monday, 71% of adults in the city have received at least one dose of the vaccine.
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