New York City Mayor Bill De Blasio made good on his promise to institute a vaccine-or-test mandate for city workers in an effort to stave off another wave of the COVID-19 pandemic and keep public schools open. The new mandate, effective in mid-September, will require some 340,000 city and municipal workers—including those who work for the New York City Police Department and Department of Education—to prove they have been vaccinated. Those who won’t or cannot must submit to mandatory weekly testing at their own expense. “We tried purely voluntary for over half a year. We tried every form of incentives,” the mayor said on WNYC last week. “But now we’ve got to go further, we’ve reached the limits of a purely voluntary system.” In California, Gov. Gavin Newsom announced Monday that all state employees will be required to produce proof of immunization by Aug. 2 or produce negative COVID-19 tests twice per week, and some employees in both public and private healthcare facilities will be mandated to do the same.
Last week De Blasio introduced a similar requirement for the city’s health workers, who must be vaccinated or submit to mandatory testing by Aug. 2. Those who work in residential- or congregate-care facilities will have until Aug. 16 to show proof of their vaccination or agree to testing to keep their jobs.