Unvaccinated Cincinnati city employees have a little more time to get vaccinated from COVID-19 or make other arrangements.
Officials are extending the deadline for city workers to become fully vaccinated or agree to be tested regularly for the coronavirus. City Manager Paula Boggs Muething announced Wednesday that the new COVID-19 policy will now begin on Oct. 24 instead of this month as originally intended.
According to the city and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), those who are considered fully vaccinated are two weeks past their second dose of a two-shot series (Pfizer and Moderna) or two weeks past a one-shot vaccine (Johnson & Johnson).
Boggs Muething also said that because COVID-19 tests are in short supply, employee testing would happen every other week instead of every week as the original policy had stated.
"We will be delaying implementation of mandatory COVID-19 testing for employees who do not attest to COVID-19 vaccination status until the week of 10/24/2021," Boggs Muething wrote in a memo, according to the Cincinnati Enquirer.
According to the policy, Cincinnati city employees must attest to or show proof of vaccination (the city "encourages employees to receive a COVID-19 vaccination but does not require it," the policy says). Those who fail to do so will be treated as unvaccinated and must submit to regular COVID-19 tests to prove that they do not have the virus. All city employees and contractors must follow the policy. Medical exemptions and religious beliefs will be considered upon request.
Unvaccinated employees who don't comply with the testing requirement or who contract the coronavirus will immediately be placed on leave — either through the employee's accrued vacation/sick time or as unpaid — until they satisfy the city's requirements or are released from quarantine. Unvaccinated employees also must wear masks at work, while vaccinated employees are not required to do so.
The city has held several vaccination events for employees and has several testing options for those who cannot take time off work.
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