BALTIMORE (WJZ) — Mayor Brandon Scott on Tuesday said all city employees who are not fully vaccinated by Oct. 18 will have to submit to weekly testing for COVID-19.

“Protecting the health of our workforce, residents, and their loved ones is my top priority. As we continue to navigate this pandemic—all while working to restore critical in-person access and assistance for Baltimoreans—the steps we take today to slow the spread of COVID-19 and the Delta variant could not be more important,” Scott said in a statement. “I thank our City employees for continuing to provide high quality service during these unprecedented times, and look forward to working hand-in-hand with our Health Department to work towards vaccinating everyone who is not currently vaccinated.”

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In a release, Scott’s office noted that, so far this year, 94.4% of COVID-19 hospitalizations and 95% deaths were of unvaccinated individuals.

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The policy requires all city employees to report their vaccination status and applies to police officers and fire fighters, as well as part-time, contractual, probationary and seasonal employees, Scott said.

As part of the policy, the city will open free pop-up testing clinics at work sites across the city for employees. Additionally, 10 vaccination clinics for employees and their families are planned for the fall.

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Two vaccination clinics held in August provided shots for 100 people, Scott’s office said.

CBS Baltimore Staff