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Encinitas expands vaccine mandate for city workers

Mandate now covers city's SEIU union workers
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Posted at 12:32 PM, Aug 27, 2021
and last updated 2021-08-27 15:32:09-04

SAN DIEGO (KGTV) — One day after San Diego announced it would require city workers to get vaccinated against COVID-19, Encinitas city officials announced Friday they too will require vaccinations for union employees.

Encinitas said it has reached an agreement with the Service Employees International Union (SEIU) Local 221 to require all represented workers to be vaccinated. The city already announced a vaccine mandate for city employees on Aug. 17.

All union and non-union employees will be required to present proof of vaccination starting Oct. 7.

RELATED: San Diego mandating COVID-19 vaccine for city workers as 'condition of continued employment'

"We at the City of Encinitas are holding ourselves to a higher standard of safety," said Mayor Catherine Blakespear. "We do not want to be the cause of any infections and we know the vaccine is the best way to stop the spread of coronavirus. We want people to have the confidence when they come into City Hall to conduct business or when our employees enter their homes that we are doing all we can to protect them."

The city attributed the decision to require the COVID-19 vaccine to the rise in cases and hospitalizations in San Diego County, and noted the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine will have been FDA approved for 45 days at the October deadline.

Previously, the city allowed for weekly negative COVID-19 tests until the vaccine was FDA approved. Weekly testing will continue for unvaccinated employees to give them time to meet the updated requirement, a city spokesperson said.

The city said it is working with the fire department's union, which represents 50 employees, to also institute the vaccine requirement.

Thursday, the City of San Diego sent a letter to all city employees announcing that the COVID-19 vaccine would be a condition of continued employment, and proof of vaccination would be required by November.