New York City to extend Covid-19 vaccine mandate to all city workers

Only 54 per cent of people are fully vaccinated in New York City.
Only 54 per cent of people are fully vaccinated in New York City.PHOTO: REUTERS

NEW YORK (BLOOMBERG) - New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio is expected to announce on Monday (July 26) that all city workers will be required to receive the Covid-19 vaccine or get tested weekly, according to a city official.

The vaccine mandate is the first expansion of a policy announced last week that requires health care workers in public hospitals and clinics to be vaccinated by Aug 2 or submit to weekly tests, said the city official, who wasn't authorised to speak publicly on the matter.

About 60 per cent of the city's more than 42,000 public hospital employees have been vaccinated, according to Mitchell Katz, president and chief executive officer of the system.

Only 54 per cent of people are fully vaccinated in the city, which missed its goal of fully vaccinating 5 million New Yorkers by the end of June. Just over 4.5 million New Yorkers are fully vaccinated. NBC New York earlier reported the expanded mandate.

The city is expected to roll out the vaccine requirement to the full city workforce by mid-September.

Unvaccinated city workers are expected to be required to wear masks in the workplace under the new plan.

On Friday, Mr De Blasio also urged private employers to start requiring the shots and said the rise in cases was largely among unvaccinated residents.

The city recorded 1,074 new cases of the virus on July 22, compared with 56 daily cases June 21, although hospitalisations have remained low, with only 28 reported July 22.

"This is a pandemic of the unvaccinated," Mr De Blasio said during a Friday interview on WNYC radio. "And we've got to reach people. So, you're going to see more of these kinds of mandates. And I think the private sector is going to follow suit."