DEL MAR, Calif. (KGTV) — Del Mar City Council leaders voted Monday to approve a vaccine mandate for city workers, without the option for negative COVID-19 testing.
City leaders passed the mandate unanimously, which aligns with a federal vaccination mandate. The mandate will not allow for weekly negative testing as an alternative to proof of full vaccination.
"It's extremely important that Del Mar set an example here. Vaccinations are the way that we can reduce the impact of COVID-19," said councilmember David Druker.
Druker added that while the vaccine is not 100%, he believes it's much safe than catching or spreading the virus and possibly being hospitalized.
The city council was considering whether to include testing as an option or only testing. Based on the number of city employees already vaccinated, testing would cost the city $64,000 for rapid COVID-19 testing for the remainder of the year. Del Mar Mayor Terry Gaasterland said the cost wasn't feasible for the city.
The mandate will include exclusions for approved religious and medical reasons.
Employees have 90 days before the mandate takes effect. City workers who don't comply with the mandate will face disciplinary actions, though it wasn't immediately announced what that would include.
Del Mar joins the County of San Diego and the cities of San Diego, Coronado, and Encinitas in requiring some sort of proof of vaccination and/or negative testing policy for city employees. The City of Chula Vista is currently in the process of formulating a mandate for all unrepresented employees. Imperial Beach has asked the city council for direction on the matter.