BALTIMORE (WJZ) — Mayor Brandon Scott on Friday said he would not rollback part of the city’s vaccination policy that allows employees to opt for regular testing instead of getting the shot, one day after President Biden enacted a stricter mandate for federal workers.

Under Biden’s policy, federal workers would be referred to their agencies’ human resources and may face disciplinary actions. The new federal rules also call for companies with more than 100 employees to require full vaccination or weekly testing.

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During a press conference Friday, Scott said he did not want to go back on his word to municipal employees.

“This is about us working with our employees, with our partners in labor, with the health commissioner, with our HR director to make sure that we’re getting more of our employees vaccinated,” the mayor said. “As we said when we announced this last week, we’re going to use the data to drive how we go further and if we need to go further.”

City employees have until Oct. 18 to provide proof of vaccination or begin weekly testing for COVID-19.

The city also unveiled “more targeted data” on the Baltimore City Health Department’s COVID-19 dashboard, Scott said, including vaccination rates broken down by community statistical areas.

Baltimore City Health Commissioner Dr. Letitia Dzirasa said officials are monitoring the seven-day averages of new cases, hospitalizations, deaths and the positivity rate, as well as vaccination coverage, to determine whether the city should repeal the indoor mask mandate or consider stricter protocols.

“This dashboard overhaul will make it easier for residents and members of the public to see exactly what Dr. Dzirasa, our health experts and I use to make calls that protect the health and safety of us all,” Scott.

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As of Friday, 64.2% of city residents age 12 and older have received at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine, and 56.9% of eligible residents are fully vaccinated, 64.2%.

Scott announced a contest to incentivize vaccinations in the city. Any resident who gets a shot at a city clinic, takes a selfie in front of the health department’s banner, tags the health department and uses the hashtag #BmoreVax will be entered in a contest to win two tickets in the mayor’s skybox during Ravens home games.

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At the start of his press conference, Scott guaranteed victory Monday night against the “Los Angeles Oakland Las Vegas Whatever They’re Called These Days.”

CBS Baltimore Staff