TAMPA, FL. – At a press conference on Wednesday, Tampa Mayor Jane Castor announced that all city employees will be required to get vaccinated, with some exceptions.
“We met with the unions. We talked about this clearly. There are details that will have to be negotiated out, but as it stands right now, September 30th is the date that we are looking at to have all of our city employees, our personnel safely vaccinated against Covid-19,” said Castor.
Castor said that for individuals that have not been vaccinated, there will be options. City employees not vaccinated will be required to wear an N-95 mask and be tested for Covid once a week.
They will have to show those test results, each week.
Individuals who take an antibody test and show that they have antibodies will suffice in place of the vaccine.
Employees, including those who are union members, must be vaccinated by Sept. 30 or show proof of having COVID-19 antibodies. Those who do not wish to be vaccinated must wear a face mask and also submit to a weekly rapid response COVID test.
“This COVID-19 surge is a crisis threatening our community, and the most effective way to halt the spread is with vaccinations. We need to take this step to protect one another and our community, and I am so grateful to the dedicated city of Tampa employees who have worked so hard during this difficult time,” Mayor Castor said.
Since remote working ended in June, all city employees have been required either to wear masks at work or show proof of vaccination and wear buttons or wrist bands showing that they are vaccinated.
“This is mainly about protecting our community and everybody’s health, but there is a fairness issue here. Unvaccinated employees are very likely to get COVID-19, and it’s their vaccinated colleagues who have to pick up the slack while they are out, hopefully recovering,” Mayor Castor said.
“So we are looking at options, we will continue to talk to other unions about those issues that need to be negotiated by clearly understanding individuals talking about their level of personal freedom,” said Castor.
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