NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio announced Monday morning that all city workers will either need to provide proof that they are fully vaccinated by the time public schools reopen, or consent to weekly tests, expanding a mandate adopted last week that required all health workers to be vaccinated. It’s the latest attempt by the mayor to bolster vaccination rates as the city faces a third wave of coronavirus infections largely driven by the Delta variant.
The edict will apply to roughly 340K city workers, including teachers and officers with the NYPD. The deadline for compliance is Sept. 13, when about 1MM students are set to return to classrooms full time with the new school year. Mayor de Blasio clearly sees a successful resumption of in-person education as critical to his legacy (his second and final term in office will conclude later this year).
Speaking at a news conference Monday morning, Mayor de Blasio reiterated his call to private employers to set similar, or perhaps even more comprehensive, vaccine mandates for their workers in keeping with federal policy guidelines granting employers the “green light” to pressure workers into getting vaccinated.
“September is the pivot point of the recovery,” de Blasio said, “and so on Sept. 13, the first day of school, every single city employee will be expected to be either vaccinated or be tested weekly.”
Dr. Dave Chokshi, the city’s health commissioner, called on all city employees to get vaccinated sooner than the Sept. deadline: “Don’t wait..We need stronger medicine to deal with Delta, and that’s why we are taking these steps today.”
Nearly 5MM New Yorkers have received at least one dose of the vaccine, but the pace of new vaccinations has slowed dramatically since late last year. Meanwhile, 2MM adult New Yorkers are still unvaccinated. The number of virus cases has risen to more than 800 on average per day, more than 3x the daily average in late June.
NYC isn’t the only major city hoping to stanch a new resurgence of cases with new restrictions. LA County recently reinstated a mandatory indoor mask order, including for those who have been vaccinated.
Source: NYC data
The city’s vaccination rate as a whole is 65% for adults, better than the national average, but there are some neighborhoods where the rate is under 40%. Here’s the timeline as it stands for different types of workers: Starting Aug. 2, city hospital and health-care workers will need to be vaccinated or face testing. On Aug. 16, 45K city employees who work in congregate or residential settings, like homeless shelters and senior centers, will be required to do the same. Then on Sept. 13, the measure will take effect for the rest of the city’s workforce.
Not to be outdone, California announced a few hours later that the Golden State will soon require state employees and some health-care workers to show proof or face mandatory weekly testing, top state officials said Monday. The new rule will take effect on Aug. 2.
“State offices and state employees are providing critical services across the state and we believe this is a way to ensure that continuity of government is protected and state employees will be working in a safe environment to continue to provide services to California,” California’s Human Resources department said.
In state health care facilities, employees who work in a hospital setting will be required to show proof of a COVID vaccine or produce negative COVID tests 2x a week. Those who remain unvaccinated will also be asked to wear cumbersome N-95 masks while at work.
And the talking points appear to have been handed from Mt.White House as if writ in stone…
NEW: CA will have the strongest state vaccine verification system in the US and will require state employees & healthcare workers to provide proof of vaccination—or get tested regularly.
We’re experiencing a pandemic of the unvaccinated. Everyone that can get vaccinated—should.
— Gavin Newsom (@GavinNewsom) July 26, 2021
Coming to every liberal state and city near you very soon…