COVID-19 vaccine requirement set for city workers – Community News
Covid-19

COVID-19 vaccine requirement set for city workers

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Illustration by Angeli Mittal

City employees seeking waivers from the new vaccine mandate must complete a HIPAA survey and have 15 days to receive their next dose if the city denies their waiver request.

All Evanston employees are: obligated to either be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 or submit negative tests to the city every week from November 15. The city first drafted the policy in mid-October, and by November 5, more than 82% of city employees had been fully vaccinated.

On Monday, the city announced it had reached an agreement on the requirement with the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees, the nation’s largest union for public service workers.

The city and the union have aligned themselves in the move to mandatory vaccines. The city previously reached similar agreements with Evanston’s Fraternal Order of Police and International Association of Firefighters. All three agreements cumulatively affect approximately 97% of the city’s unionized workers.

Currently, federal law allows employers to require their employees to be vaccinated, although this permission is somewhat limited by the American with Disabilities Act and Title VII regulations. The city previously referred to a temporary emergency standard released Nov. 5 by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration that requires all workplaces with 100 or more employees to mandate vaccinations.

At this time, city employees are encouraged, but not required, to also receive COVID-19 vaccine booster shots.

The vaccination policy applies to all permanent, seasonal and part-time city employees, including contractors, teleworkers, volunteers and interns. Personnel are considered fully vaccinated either two weeks after their second dose of the Moderna or Pfizer vaccines or two weeks after the Johnson & Johnson single-dose vaccine.

Employees can request a waiver through a HIPAA survey based on a medical waiver, religious affiliation, or preference for weekly testing. If a waiver is denied, employees have 15 days to receive the first dose of their vaccine series or a single dose of Johnson & Johnson vaccine.

City employees seeking a vaccine in light of the policy can visit vaccins.gov to find a vaccination appointment or call 1-800-232-0233. Evanston residents who want more information about the policy can also call 311.

E-mail: [email protected]

Twitter: @ilana_arougheti

Related stories:

City requires staff to receive COVID-19 vaccination by mid-November

City publishes survey, Cook County opens pediatric COVID-19 vaccination agreements


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