Jul 21, 2021 - Health

NYC to require vaccination or weekly testing for health workers

Photo of a masked person walking by a mobile vaccine clinic
A New York City mobile coronavirus vaccine site in the Brooklyn borough.Photo: Michael Nagle/Bloomberg via Getty Images

New York City will announce requirements Wednesday for health workers in city-run hospitals and clinics to get vaccinated or weekly testing, per the New York Times.

Why it matters: Though Mayor Bill de Blasio has dragged his feet on mandating coronavirus vaccinations, the Delta variant has ushered in fear amid a third wave of new cases. The new policy is likely to cover over 10% of the 300,000 people who work for city government.

Of note: The mandate will go into effect at the beginning of August, but employees will have until Aug. 1 to apply for exemptions and Sept. 1 to get a first dose.

What they're saying: "It's all about the safety of a health care setting," Bill Neidhardt, the mayor's press secretary, told the Times.

The big picture: About 2 million adult New Yorkers have not received a single dose of any coronavirus vaccine, per the Times.

  • Every day, fewer than 10,000 NYC residents on average are choosing to get their first shot. Black and Orthodox Jewish neighborhoods in particular have lower vaccination rates.
  • The Delta variant has led case counts to jump to nearly 600 a day in the past week, more than double the daily average in late June, according to the Times.
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