Employees of Baltimore City government must get vaccinated against COVID-19, the mayor announced Tuesday.
“Protecting the health of our workforce, residents, and their loved ones is my top priority,” Mayor Brandon M. Scott (D) said in a statement.
“As we continue to navigate this pandemic — all while working to restore critical in-person access and assistance for Baltimoreans — the steps we take today to slow the spread of COVID-19 and the Delta variant could not be more important,” Scott said.
About 50.68 percent of Baltimore residents who are eligible have been vaccinated against COVID-19, according to the Maryland Department of Health’s Aug. 31 data. That is below the state average of 61.62 percent.
The city’s vaccination policy will take effect Monday, Oct. 18. It will apply to full-time, probationary, contractual, seasonal, part-time and temporary employees as well as sworn personnel employed by the Baltimore City Fire Department and Baltimore City Police Department.
If employees are not fully vaccinated, they will need to provide a weekly negative test result to report to work in Baltimore.
To help get workers vaccinated, the city will organize pop-up clinics convenient to work sites. Two clinics targeting city employees in mid-August vaccinated more than 100 people, officials said.
Baltimore City has had 56,032 confirmed cases of the coronavirus since the pandemic, and 1,253 residents have died from COVID-19, state health data shows.
“I thank our city employees for continuing to provide high quality service during these unprecedented times,” Scott said, “and look forward to working hand-in-hand with our health department to work towards vaccinating everyone who is not currently vaccinated.”