Today, the City of St. Louis joined a growing number of public and private sector employers requiring City employees to get vaccinated against COVID-19 or tested weekly to protect the region against the virus as case numbers climb, especially among young children. Children and adolescents aged 0-19 years old compose nearly one quarter of newly reported COVID-19 cases, and children younger than 10 now make up roughly 12% of all new cases, which is greater than at any point in the pandemic.
Civil Service employees, or nearly 6,000 City workers, will be required to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 by October 15, 2021 or get tested for the virus on a weekly basis by the City’s Department of Health. The move is the latest in a series of decisive actions taken by Mayor Jones’ administration to encourage vaccination and help stop the spread of COVID-19.
“St. Louis is joining the ranks of major public and private sector employers across the country who are requiring vaccination to protect public health,” said Mayor Tishaura O. Jones. “By encouraging vaccinations, we help keep our hospitals running, protect our children, and save lives.”
St. Louis joins the federal government and a growing number of other public and private sector employers across the country in requiring employees to demonstrate proof of vaccination. Municipalities like Denver, New York City, Kansas City and Jackson County, states like Colorado, California, and North Carolina, more than 600 colleges and universities, and major private sector employers like SSM Health, Facebook and Google all require proof of vaccination.
“The COVID-19 vaccine is the safest way to protect yourself from severe illness from SARS-CoV-2”, says Dr. Fredrick Echols, acting director of health for the City of St. Louis. “Choosing to receive the vaccine is also an act of compassion by helping to protect yourself, your family, your co-workers, and the community as a whole."
Employees who get fully vaccinated before October 15, 2021 will still be eligible for the City’s employee vaccine incentive program, which offers $100 in gift cards to those who complete vaccination. There is no exemption from the weekly testing requirement unless an employee is fully vaccinated.