New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio said on Monday that New York City employees must be vaccinated by Sept. 13 or tested weekly for COVID-19 and that there will be “very tough” consequences for those who don’t comply with the mask mandate for unvaccinated workers.
“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,” de Blasio said, according to Fox News. “This is about our recovery… this is about keeping people safe.”
De Blasio also said that he is urging different social media platforms to block 12 individuals who one study alleges are behind most of the vaccine misinformation spread on social media, according to Fox News. “If you don’t stop the lies then you are complicit in the spread of COVID,” he said in a letter to Mark Zuckerberg and Jack Dorsey, Fox News reported.
The New York City mayor said he chose September 13 because it is the first full day of school and that every single employee will be expected to be vaccinated by then or test weekly, adding that on Monday the city will also be strictly enforcing its mask mandate for unvaccinated city employees, according to Fox News. (RELATED: De Blasio To Keep Masks In Schools Despite CDC Guidelines)
“Let’s be blunt. If you are a city employee and you’re unvaccinated you must wear a mask indoors at work. We will not tolerate any decision to do otherwise because this is about protecting peoples’ health and well being,” de Blasio said.
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Commissioner of Labor Relations Renee Campion echoed this, saying that wearing masks would be “a job requirement” for those who refuse the vaccine, Fox reported.
“We will expect employees to comply,” Campion. “If employees refuse to comply, they just can’t be at work. And in fact they will not be paid.”
District Council 37, New York City’s largest public employee union, said that de Blasio would first have to bargain with the union before implementing any vaccine or weekly testing requirements, according to Fox News. (RELATED: Brian Hoyer’s Future With The Patriots Is ‘In Jeopardy’ Because He Won’t Get Vaccinated)
“If City Hall intends to test our members weekly, they must first meet us at the table to bargain,” Executive Director Henry Garrido said in a statement. “While we encourage everyone to get vaccinated and support measures to ensure our members’ health and wellbeing, weekly testing is clearly subject to mandatory bargaining. New York City is a union town and that cannot be ignored.”
De Blasio added that in the future there could be stricter vaccine and COVID-19 restrictions in the city and also announced that New York City was launching the “NYC COVID Safe app,” a vaccine passport app which he compared to New York state’s previous Excelsior app, according to Fox News.