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Bloomington city employees have to be vaccinated for COVID by Jan. 4, or get tested weekly

Mayor John Hamilton

Bloomington Mayor John Hamilton during Friday's COVID-19 press conference. (Zoom)

Bloomington Mayor John Hamilton says just under 70 percent of city employees are fully vaccinated against COVID-19, an increase of almost five percent since October 8.

The number of vaccinated employees is expected to increase because of the Occupational Safety and Health Administration regulations published today.

READ MORE: US mandates vaccines or tests for big companies by Jan. 4

Hamilton said the city is still evaluating the implications the OSHA requirements, but they will apply to city employees.

“All city employees, by January 4, must either be vaccinated and demonstrate their vaccination status or get weekly COVID testing and have significant masking protocols,” he said.

Hamilton said the requirements are not optional.

 “They are safety requirements designed to protect the safety of everyone, just like OSHA requirements on workplace air quality, or safety equipment, or machinery standards,” he said.

READ MORE: Vaccinated City of Bloomington employees to receive $600 incentive

Hamilton said the regulations help level the playing field for all large employers to ensure consistency for its employees. Hamilton said the regulations level the playing field for all employers Hamilton

“This is a very good and important step of setting national standards for what is a national health emergency,” he said.

Fully vaccinated city employees covered by the city’s health insurance plan will be eligible for a $600 wellness rebate in 2022.

The new program is different from the $100 incentive previously available to all vaccinated city employees regardless of health insurance. Under the rebate, vaccinated employees will not actually receive $600. Instead, unvaccinated employees will incur a $50 charge every month.

READ MORE: Vaccinated City of Bloomington employees to receive $600 incentive

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