Vaccine mandate for city workers among steps ‘needed at this moment’ to protect NYC: health commissioner

Coronavirus

NEW YORK — Mayor Bill de Blasio has drawn a line in the sand when it comes to city workers and the COVID-19 vaccine.

His message: Get the vaccine, get tested or don’t work. 

Why are such aggressive measures being taken, and is it necessary?

NYC Health Commissioner Dr. Dave Chokshi said the city remains concerned about the stronger delta variant, and getting vaccinated is one of the major steps to keep people safe.

“These steps are needed at this moment, and they start with our city workers,” Chokshi told the PIX11 Morning News.

When asked if the city would offer testing sites at offices and different locations for municipal workers, Chokshi said testing may be available on site for workers, depending on the setting, but he also reminded New Yorkers there are testing sites available citywide for everyone, not just municipal workers.

Amid concerns of the delta variant, Chokshi said there has been a stabilization in vaccinations, meaning roughly the same amount of people are coming out each day to get inoculated.

More than 50% of the total population of New York City are vaccinated, but “breakthrough” cases are possible.

The health commissioner assured New Yorkers those who are fully vaccinated continue to have strong protection against the virus, particularly outcomes including hospitalizations.

Do the fully vaccinated need to quarantine if they’re exposed to someone who is COVID-positive? 

Chokshi said it is “not recommended that you quarantine or test” unless they develop symptoms. 

If symptoms develop, get tested immediately, according to Chokshi.

He also reminded New Yorkers the measures people have taken since the beginning continue to help, including masking, social distancing and consistent hand cleaning. 

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