NEW YORK, N.Y. — All municipal workers in New York City will be required to either be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 by Sept. 13 or get a weekly coronavirus test.
Mayor Bill de Blasio announced the requirement Monday, calling September the “pivot point” of the city’s recovery.
“On Sept. 13, the entire city workforce will be mandated under the COVID safety mandate to either get vaccinated, which is far preferable, or get tested once a week,” the mayor said.
De Blasio said the mandate is being put into place to help the nation’s most populated city get back on its feet and to protect its residents from the virus.
“Let’s be clear why this is so important. This is about our recovery. This is about what we need to do to bring back New York City. This is about keeping people safe. This is about making sure our families get through COVID OK. This is about bringing back jobs, you name it,” said de Blasio.
The mayor also cited the education system as a reason for the Sept. 13 date, which is the first full day of school in the city.
De Blasio said the mandate includes teachers and other school staff, police officers, firefighters, and anyone else who works for the city.
Two groups of city employees will be required to be vaccinated before the Sept. 13 date: hospital and department health employees by Aug. 2, and government workers in congregate or residential settings by Aug. 16.
Dr. Dave Chokshi, the city’s health commissioner, joined the mayor for the announcement Monday. He mentioned the delta variant as a reason to get vaccinated as soon as possible.
“To the city’s heroic helpers, I would only say, ‘don’t wait.’ The virus is here now and it’s transmitting quickly due to the delta variant, a particularly aggressive strain of the virus with cases rising rapidly, particularly among the unvaccinated who are at most risk of severe outcomes,” said Dr. Chokshi. “We need stronger medicine to deal with delta, which is why we’re taking these steps today and will continue with robust responses if more steps are needed.”
So far, the mayor’s office says the city has administered more than 9.8 million COVID-19 vaccine doses.