By CBS Baltimore Staff

BALTIMORE (WJZ) — Baltimore City officials are continuing to push for a higher vaccination rate in the city amid a surge in COVID-19 cases due to the highly transmissible Delta variant.

Mayor Brandon Scott said Wednesday that the city’s positivity rate is 3.1%, a 101% increase in cases in the past four weeks. While it’s a big increase, the city’s positivity is the lowest in the state, Scott said.

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Hospitalizations remain high as well, with 85% of ICU beds in use and 87% of acute care beds in use.

The Mayor’s office on Tuesday announced all city employees must get vaccinated by Oct. 18 or get tested weekly. The rule goes for all employees, whether full-time, seasonal, or contract.

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The rule includes police and firefighters in the city too, but in a joint statement, police and fire unions said, “It is our desire to remain engaged in collective bargaining over the implementation of this policy.“

“This is about leading by example,” Mayor Scott said Wednesday. “Protecting the health of our workforce, residents, and their loved ones is my top priority. And I’m confident that this step will complement the actions we’ve already taken to keep our city safe during this pandemic.”


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CBS Baltimore Staff