TOWSON, Md. (WJZ) — More employers are mandating workers get vaccinated and that now includes those working for Baltimore County.

“Vaccinations are a proven safety measure to help limit the spread of COVID-19,” said Baltimore County Administrative Officer Stacy Rodgers at a news conference Thursday.

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The 9,000 people who work full and part-time for Baltimore County will have to get at least one dose by Oct. 15 or get tested weekly.

There are exceptions for medical or religious reasons. The mandate includes police officers and firefighters and the county is still working out details of the plan with workers’ unions.

“The rapid and ongoing spread demands we take additional action,” County Executive Johnny Olszewski said.

Baltimore County joins Anne Arundel County and Baltimore City in requiring workers to get the vaccines. The city announced its policy last week and also includes contractors doing business with Baltimore.

George Alston of Baltimore told WJZ Investigator Mike Hellgren requiring vaccines for workers will make him feel safer when he has to do business with the city.

“This disease is not playing with anyone. You’re seeing people dying and dying and dying. At some point, someone needs to have some common sense and say ‘Hey, people are dropping like flies,’” Alston said.

Thomas Williams of Baltimore said he was initially hesitant about getting the vaccine but changed his mind. “Because of potential employment and definitely protection,” Williams told Hellgren.

It comes as cases are still on the rise, with children making up one in four new cases nationally.

In Maryland, Lillie May Jackson public charter school in Baltimore City has 16 confirmed cases, the second-most in the state according to the Maryland Department of Health website. Quince Orchard High School in Montgomery County has the highest number of infections at 25. You can see the full list here. 

Maryland has now recorded 9,900 deaths since the pandemic began and more than 900 new cases on Thursday alone.

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“Everybody needs to take care of one another during these times because it’s so perilous,” Alston said. “Yes, I do think we should have a mandate. Of course, we live in America where it’s freedom of this and freedom of that, but it should be a mandate because it protects everyone.”