Mayor Bill de Blasio said Monday that all municipal workers, including teachers and police officers, will be required to obtain coronavirus vaccinations by mid-September or undergo weekly COVID-19 testing.
The regulation will affect around 340,000 municipal employees, making the city one of the largest employers in the United States to take such action. While there will be no forced vaccinations, officials believe that the bother and pain of weekly testing will encourage many workers to overcome their aversion to becoming immunised.
The date of September 13 coincides with the opening of public school when the Democratic mayor has stated that he wants all students to be in classes full time. City health-care professionals and personnel in communal settings such as group homes will face early deadlines.
The decision comes as the city is dealing with an increase in COVID-19 cases caused by the extremely infectious delta form. The daily average of new cases has grown by more than 300 percent since the end of June. Last Monday, the city stated that staff in the city’s hospital system will be required to receive vaccines or undergo weekly testing.
On Monday, De Blasio increased the mandate and pushed private businesses to follow suit. “My recommendation to the private sector is to go as far as you can right now,” stated the mayor. “Whenever practicable, or as near to it as possible, I would firmly advocate for a vaccine mandate.”