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CHICAGO (CBS) — Mayor Lori Lightfoot’s office announced Friday that city employees who don’t meet the Oct. 15 deadline to be fully vaccinated will be allowed to stay on the job if they are tested for COVID-19 twice a week, at their own expense, but they will only have that testing option through the end of the year.
“The end of this pandemic is within our reach if we continue to get vaccinated and encourage those who haven’t yet received their shots about the safety and efficacy of this lifesaving vaccine,” Lightfoot said in a statement. “It is crucial to the health and safety of every resident that we continue our equitable, targeted efforts to slow and stop the spread of COVID-19 across our city and especially within our City departments and agencies. That is why we are providing a testing option for employees until December 31 while we continue to do everything at our disposal to educate employees with true scientific data and research as well as continue our conversations with our unions and labor partners.”
In August, the mayor announced all city employees would have to be fully vaccinated by Oct. 15, but it wasn’t until Friday that she announced specific consequences for missing the deadline.
“Employees who fail to report their vaccination status by October 15, 2021, will be placed in a non-disciplinary, no pay status,” the mayor’s office said in a news release.
City workers who meet the Oct. 15 deadline to report their vaccination status will be awarded with an extra personal day they must use by June 30, 2022. That extra personal day will not be offered to Chicago police officers.
Employees who aren’t fully vaccinated by Oct. 15 must undergo COVID-19 testing twice a week, with tests separated by 3-4 days, according to the mayor’s office. City workers must pay for those tests themselves, obtain them on their own time, and report the results to the city.
The testing option will only be available through Dec. 31, according to the mayor’s office.
Meantime, the city is continuing to negotiate with the Fraternal Order of Police for a “a fair and workable policy” on vaccinations for officers.
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