As President Joe Biden prepares to unveil a policy on Thursday requiring all federal employees to be vaccinated against COVID-19, more cities appear to be following a trend established by Pasadena, one that requires municipal employees to be vaccinated.
Pasadena City Manager Steve Mermell on July 19 announced that he was working with the Human Resources Department to require all city employees to be vaccinated.
The announcement made headlines across the region.
“The city manager announced the city will implement a policy to require COVID-19 vaccinations for 2,000 employees,” said Public Information Officer Lisa Derderian. “Currently, approximately 60% of city employees have attested to being fully vaccinated. However, given the ongoing risk posed by COVID-19, the upward trend in positive cases, and the Delta variant, a vaccine policy is the right thing to do to foster a safe work environment and protect the health and safety of city of Pasadena employees and the public we serve. The vaccine policy is being formalized and we hope to implement it in the near future. The city of Pasadena would be the first city to initiate this policy in Southern California and follows similar announcements by the University of California System, Cal State System and City and County of San Francisco who recently announced similar policies.”
Pasadena has also reinstated an indoor masked mandate.
More than 81% of the city’s residents have been vaccinated, according to its COVD dashboard.
Based on the numbers being reported by Pasadena’s Health Department and the county’s public health page, Pasadena has the highest vaccination rate of cities in the county with populations over 100,000 people.
The county incorrectly lists Pasadena’s vaccination rate at 77.8%.
Los Angeles city officials on Wednesday began hashing out
details of a proposal to require all municipal employees to show proof of COVID-19 vaccination or undergo weekly coronavirus testing, while a City Council member introduced a motion calling for a stricter rule that would mandate vaccinations.
Long Beach will also require city employees to confirm vaccination status or endure tests.
The county is reporting a significant spread of the Delta variant. Health officials now say that vaccinated people can carry the same viral load of the virus as the unvaccinated.
Doctors at Huntington Hospital were treating 18 COVID-19 patients as of Wednesday. Three of them are in the hospital’s intensive care unit.
The new information led to new guidelines by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) advising, not mandating, people wear masks indoors.
“The fourth wave is here, and the choice for Angelenos couldn’t be clearer — get vaccinated or get COVID-19,” L.A. Mayor Eric Garcetti said Tuesday night. “This urgent need means that if you’re a city employee, we’re now going to require you to either show that you’re vaccinated or take a weekly test.”
L.A.’s policy, while similar to state policy, falls short of a mandate.
However, Garcetti said he and City Council President Nury Martinez are “committed to pursuing a full vaccine mandate.”
City Councilman Mark Ridley-Thomas introduced a motion Wednesday that would impose a strict vaccination mandate on municipal employees. The motion asks the city administrative officer, chief legislative analyst and other staff to report back in 15 days on a policy that would require all city employees and contractors to be fully vaccinated and report their vaccination status to the appropriate city department.
President Joe Biden is expected to announce on Thursday a requirement that all federal employees and contractors be vaccinated against Covid-19, or be required to submit to regular testing and mitigation requirements, according to CNN.