Aug 17, 2021 - COVID

Fayetteville might pay you to get vaxxed

Illustration of a wallet with hundred-dollar bills inside it, and a syringe being stuck into it.

Illustration: Brendan Lynch/Axios

Fayetteville is considering cash incentives to encourage people to get the COVID-19 vaccine, according to the city council's agenda.

What's happening: The council will decide Tuesday night whether to establish a program to use federal COVID-19 relief funds to give $100 to anyone who lives or works in Fayetteville who gets fully vaccinated.

  • The resolution up for approval does not specify any limit on how many people can be awarded.

Why it matters: This is a concrete effort to get more people vaccinated as a combination of the state's low vaccination rate and Delta variant continues to cause more cases and deaths, and strain hospitals.

  • About 44% of people in Washington County are fully vaccinated, according to the Arkansas Department of Health. Another 12% are partially vaccinated.

Context: The Biden administration has asked local and state governments to offer people $100 to get the vaccine.

Of note: The city recently issued a new mandate that requires everyone inside a business where more than 10 people may gather, including city buildings, to wear a mask. Fayetteville is one of just a few cities in the state to require masks in the absence of a statewide requirement.

By the numbers: The city is set to get $17.9 million in American Rescue Plan funding. It has received the first half of the money but hasn't spent any of it yet, city spokesperson Lisa Thurber tells Axios.

Go to the meeting: 5:30pm Tuesday at City Hall or you can register here to watch online.

Editor's note: This piece was corrected to show Fayetteville's mask mandate covers businesses where more than 10 people may gather, including city buildings (not just in city buildings).


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