According to city policy, employees on Friday must provide proof of their vaccination status or request an exemption or deferral.
The policy went into effect on Sept. 3.
“We hope we are setting an example for what is the right thing to do,” said City Manager Steve Mermell. “We have an obligation to protect our community and our City employees, many who interact on a daily basis and in emergency situations. It’s reassuring to see other cities, businesses and organizations are following suit. In addition, city staff has met numerous times with all of our unions to discuss the vaccination policy, listen to their input, and answer questions. There is an understanding we are moving forward with implementation.”
Employees granted an exemption will be tested weekly. Acceptable proof includes a screenshot of the digital vaccination record or a photo of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) COVID-19 vaccination record card or documentation by the employee’s health care provider.
According to Mermell, a large percentage of the city’s more than 2,000 employees have already reported, but the city will not know how many until Friday.
The city will take further action if employees do not comply with the policy. City officials would not reveal what action would take place because it is a personnel issue and is therefore confidential.
On Monday, the City Council approved a $925,000 contract with Mobile Health Medical Services PC for COVID-19 testing services for city employees.
Since June 15, when most state restrictions were lifted, the average daily incident case rate of COVID-19 in Pasadena has increased by more than 600% to reach the “High Transmission” level of the CDC’s Indicators for Level of Community Transmission.
The Delta variant spreads more easily between people, and some research shows that people transmit the variant to others sooner than people spread the original strain of the novel coronavirus.
Pasadena in July became the first city in Southern California to mandate vaccinations of its employees when Mermell announced at a City Council meeting that the policy was being drafted.
At the time of that announcement, Mermell said the vaccination rate of city employees was in the mid to high 60% range.
On Tuesday, the city reported that nearly 87% of local residents over 12 were fully vaccinated against the virus and 94.4% have received at least one shot.
Since the pandemic began, 12,985 local residents have been infected with COVID-19 and 358 of them have died.
On Tuesday, 12 new infections were reported by the Pasadena Public Health Department.
According to scientists, unvaccinated people could increase the possibility of more variants, which have the potential to be deadlier than the current variant.