Cincinnati requires vaccine or regular testing for staff

CINCINNATI – The City of Cincinnati will require all city employees to receive a COVID-19 vaccine or undergo weekly tests and continue to wear a mask indoors.

What you need to know

  • The city of Cincinnati requires all city employees to get vaccinated or have weekly tests
  • The policy comes into force on September 22nd
  • Employees who test positive or who do not adhere to the policy will be given leave of absence
  • Employees who are vaccinated receive incentives in the form of $ 100 cash cards or health insurance credits

After September 21, city workers who remain unvaccinated or “fail to confirm vaccination status” will be required to submit a weekly negative COVID-19 test, according to a memo sent Wednesday by city director Paula Boggs Muething.

The message to the department heads of the city states that employees who have not been proven to be vaccinated must present a negative test result. According to the guideline, the test result must not be older than 72 hours at the time of submission.

According to the policy, unvaccinated employees who do not meet testing requirements or who test positive for COVID-19 will be given leave of absence. They must remain on vacation until they comply with guidelines and / or are released from quarantine.

While on vacation, an employee must use their “accrued balances” on sick leave, private time, or “remain in unpaid status,” according to the memo.

Muething said the city will work with the Health Collaborative to offer weekly testing events. Employees who are unable to attend are responsible for finding another method to submit a negative test as per the memo.

Some home test kits will be available to city officials, but this number is limited.

“This policy … is made to protect city workers and the public, to comply with local, state, and federal health guidelines, to ensure the ability to continue serving the city, and to respect individual employees,” the memo said.

The city is giving employees who receive a first (or one-time) vaccination at a Cincinnati Department of Health facility a $ 100 debit card. That will begin as soon as the directive comes into force at the end of this month.

Employees who have been vaccinated or have started vaccination are eligible for a US $ 50 Health Lifestyle benefit for their health insurance. This only applies if an employee is within their $ 300 limit as per the policy.

The city director wrote that unvaccinated workers must wear face covering indoors. They must also wear a mask when “in a vehicle with others, working in public or otherwise and unable to distance themselves socially”.

The city said vaccinated workers are not required to wear face covering for the time being, but they are encouraging it.

All employees, both vaccinated and unvaccinated, must comply with all internal social distancing measures as per the policy.

The directive also applies to contractors. Those doing business with the city of Cincinnati must apply similar guidelines to their employees who work on the city’s premises. Vaccinated contractors must have a vaccination card with them.

The city will allow a few exceptions, including religious beliefs or related medical issues, such as possible allergy. In this case, employees must provide a statement and medical documentation.

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