BALTIMORE (WJZ) — Baltimore’s vaccine mandate for all city employees went into effect this week. Employees are required to show proof of vaccination or conduct weekly COVID-19 testing.
The latest figures from the mayor’s office show that as of Wednesday morning, 56% of employees have uploaded proof of vaccination. That is a 3% increase from the previous day. But that leaves thousands of city employees whose status is still unknown. Of the city’s approximately 13,600 employees, about 5,900 of them have not provided proof that they have the shot.READ MORE: Clarksburg Waitress Having Seizure Saved By Off-Duty Montgomery County Officer
Cities like New York and Chicago will put workers on unpaid leave if they don’t follow the mandate.
Mayor Brandon Scott said there could be consequences for city employees who choose not to provide proof of vaccination or conduct weekly COVID-19 testing, but the mayor did not specify what those consequences would be.
“We know that the process it’s just kicking off and we know that when you don’t follow rules and regulations there are always possible consequences,” said Scott. “As we are just beginning this, the testing and everything is just getting into gear, we’re going to see where we are and hopefully we don’t have that [consequences] but we will be ready to respond accordingly.”READ MORE: Maryland Board Of Education Sets Benchmarks To Lift Schools Mask Mandates
Some union leaders said they haven’t gotten enough details on the vaccine mandate. Just this week, the fire union president said they were still waiting on information on where testing sites will be located.
“We don’t even know who the vendor is that’s going to be doing this yet, so how are you going to do testing if we don’t know who the vendor is?” asked Rich Langford, the president of Baltimore Firefighters local 734.
“One of the biggest things our members need to know is exactly how this testing is going to be implemented,” Langford told WJZ. “We have no idea. We’ve been told it’s going to be done on duty, but that also brings in a lot of logistical problems.”
The mayor said employees will receive the testing information they need.MORE NEWS: Daughter Of Keith Smith Testifies, Says Her Father Killed His Wife Jacquelyn
“We have spread those sites all across the city to make sure that our workers are able to get to these places that are close to their workplaces, making them a wide range of hours so that we could have the access necessary,” he said.