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Charlotte will now require COVID vaccines for all new city government workers

Roughly 70% of Charlotte government employees are now at least partially vaccinated as of Wednesday.
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Published: Oct. 6, 2021 at 10:29 PM EDT
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CHARLOTTE, N.C. (THE CHARLOTTE OBSERVER) - All new Charlotte city government hires will be required to get the COVID-19 vaccine, city officials told employees in an email Wednesday.

Roughly 70% of Charlotte government employees are now at least partially vaccinated as of Wednesday. That rate means vaccinated city employees will likely miss out on an additional $250 offered by city leaders if employees could hit a 75% vaccination threshold by Sept. 30.

There are approximately 7,740 workers for the city — 5,445 city workers are at least partially vaccinated.

Vaccinated employees will still get $250 just for getting the coronavirus vaccine by Sept. 30, but vaccinated employees could have gotten up to $500 in total if they had hit that 75% threshold. Employees who are partially vaccinated must get their second shot by Nov. 19 to get the initial $250 reward.

There’s still one more chance for employees to push for the additional $250, city spokesman Cory Burkarth told the Observer. Roughly 70% of Charlotte government employees are now at least partially vaccinated.

The Nov. 19 deadline for the second shot means that employees could still get the one-dose Johnson & Johnson vaccine and upload proof of vaccination to reach the 75% threshold. At least 360 more employees would need to do that to reach the 75% vaccination rate.

The financial incentives will be paid out to employees by the end of the year, Burkarth said.

For the first time, Charlotte officials outlined requirements for the COVID-19 vaccines, in an email to employees Wednesday evening. The vaccines are not required for existing employees but will be required for any new hires, the city said in the email. And employees (new and existing) must be vaccinated to be eligible for a Wellness Incentive program, part of the city’s benefits plan.

The program provides a financial reward to eligible employees and spouses through an annual medical premium savings or city contribution, according to the city. Mecklenburg County government has gone a step further than the city, requiring proof of vaccination or weekly testing for all employees.

As of last week, Mecklenburg County had fired 16 employees — including five full-time workers — for noncompliance with its COVID-19 protocols. Unvaccinated employees who do not provide proof of testing each week are put on immediate unpaid suspension. And any employee who is noncompliant for two consecutive weeks will be dismissed, the county has said.

DEPARTMENT BY DEPARTMENT

Here’s what the vaccination rates are by Charlotte city government department:

City attorney (39 employees): 94.9% vaccinated

Aviation (638 employees): 72.4% vaccinated

CATS (468 employees): 67.7% vaccinated

Communication (36 employees): 83.3% vaccinated

Transportation (351 employees): 76.4% vaccinated

City Clerk (8 employees): 62.5% vaccinated

Charlotte Water (913 employees): 72.5% vaccinated

Community Relations (16 employees): 100% vaccinated

City Manager (9 employees): 100% vaccinated

Economic Development (18 employees): 94.4%

Finance (95 employees): 92.6% vaccinated

Fire (1,224 employees): 59.4% vaccinated

General Services (411 employees): 78.4% vaccinated

Housing (218 employees): 76.2% vaccinated

Human Resources (54 employees): 90.7% vaccinated

Innovation & Technology (211 employees): 87.7% vaccinated

Internal Audit (10 employees): 100% vaccinated

Planning (109 employees): 91.7% vaccinated

Police (2,407 employees): 66.6% vaccinated

Strategy & Budget (15 employees): 93.3% vaccinated

Stormwater Services (185 employees): 81.1% vaccinated

Solid Waste (305 employees): 68.5% vaccinated

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