Mayor Requires COVID-19 Vaccine as Condition of City Employment

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Submitted by the Metropolis of Bellingham, written by Janice Keller

Bellingham Mayor Seth Fleetwood introduced at the moment he has signed an emergency order that makes acquiring a COVID-19 vaccination a situation of employment for all Metropolis workers. 

So far, 79 p.c of the Metropolis’s roughly 975 workers have voluntarily reported to Metropolis officers that they’re vaccinated, Fleetwood mentioned.

Beneath the Mayor’s emergency order, all Metropolis workers should obtain their last dose and supply proof of vaccination no later than November 19, 2021, to be thought-about totally vaccinated no later than December 3, 2021.

The order applies to all Metropolis workers in addition to volunteers and contractors getting into into new agreements underneath which people shall be working inside Metropolis services, Fleetwood mentioned.

“By this order I’m committing the Metropolis to hitch the rising alliance of organizations, each private and non-private, who perceive that the pathway to defeating COVID-19 is getting individuals vaccinated,” Fleetwood mentioned. “We face the worst pandemic in trendy historical past. Our hospitals are filling, we’re experiencing report numbers of diseases and rising deaths, and now instances are growing in our colleges.”

“It’s clear our return to normalcy requires agency motion on all our elements. I hope taking this step inside our Metropolis authorities will encourage different organizations to take comparable actions as nicely. Public well being officers in any respect ranges have been clear that vaccination is likely one of the most essential steps we are able to take to struggle this pandemic. They’ve decided the vaccines are protected, extremely efficient, and cut back the variety of infections and the severity of sickness,” he mentioned.

Timeline

The timeline outlined by Mayor Fleetwood’s order consists of the next steps:

  • Staff looking for cheap lodging for reliable medical causes or sincerely held non secular beliefs might apply for an lodging no later than shut of enterprise on October 15.
  • As a situation of employment, Metropolis workers should present proof of getting accomplished vaccination in opposition to COVID-19 no later than shut of enterprise on November 19, besides those that have obtained lodging.
  • An worker is taken into account totally vaccinated two weeks after the second dose of the Pfizer or Moderna vaccine or two weeks after the only dose of Johnson & Johnson’s Janssen vaccine, which based on the timeline above is not any later than December 3.

Penalties

Fleetwood mentioned his order establishes the COVID-19 vaccine as a situation of employment. Staff who aren’t vaccinated, or haven’t been granted an exemption and lodging, shall be deemed not assembly a situation of employment. Customary self-discipline steps shall be adopted that can most certainly finish in termination of the worker. 

Federal and state necessities

Mayor Fleetwood’s order enhances the federal and state necessities just lately issued by President Joe Biden and Governor Jay Inslee.

  • Governor Jay Inslee issued a proclamation on August 9, 2021, requiring all workers, on-site impartial contractors, volunteers, items and companies suppliers, and appointees of designated state businesses to be totally vaccinated in opposition to COVID-19 on or earlier than October 18, 2021, and inspired native governments to undertake a vaccine mandate. Fleetwood mentioned 160 Metropolis workers are topic to Governor Inslee’s order, together with uniformed firefighters, emergency medical technicians, paramedics, and fleet mechanics.
  • President Joe Biden on September 9, 2021, ordered all federal authorities workers to be vaccinated and additional ordered the Division of Labor to subject an emergency non permanent commonplace that requires employers with greater than 100 workers to mandate vaccination in opposition to COVID-19 or conduct weekly testing of unvaccinated workers. President Biden inspired personal employers and native governments to undertake vaccine mandates as nicely.

Featured photograph courtesy of the Whatcom County Well being Division

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