New Haven announces COVID vaccine, testing requirements for city staff

New Haven

NEW HAVEN, Conn. (WTNH) — New Haven is seeing a surge in COVID cases like much of the state. That’s one of the reasons why the city announced all 2,000 of its city workers must either get vaccinated or get tested.

At City Hall on Friday, New Haven Mayor Justin Elicker, New Haven Health Director Maritza Bond, and Corporation Council Pat King made the announcement. Workers have one month before the mandate takes affect.

Elicker is now the third mayor in the state to put in place a vaccine or test mandate.

“We expect employees to abide by this policy, and we’re serious about disciplinary action if employees choose either not to get vaccinated or get tested. We will hold people accountable,” Elicker said.

Last week, Governor Ned Lamont announced vaccine mandates for all state employees. Any state hospital worker and anyone who works in a nursing home that does not get their COVID vaccine is subject to lose their jobs. There are medical and religious exemptions. All pre-K through 12th-grade teachers, and early childhood workers, have the option of the vaccine or weekly testing.

Nearly 60% of the eligible population in New Haven County is fully vaccinated against COVID. Nearly 65% of the eligible population in New Haven County has at least one dose.

Officials must meet with labor unions representing city workers to hammer out those details. They plan to do that over the course of the next week.

Firefighter union leaders already huddled together. In a statement to New 8, Council 4 AFSCME Spokesperson Larry Dorman said the group, which represents several hundred city workers, “looks forward to discussing the implementation of the new directive with the mayor and bargaining its impact.”

Teachers are exempt. They fall under the state’s vaccination or test mandate.

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