(Washington, DC) Today, Mayor Muriel Bowser announced that vaccination against COVID-19 will be a requirement for all DC Government employees who work in agencies that report to the Mayor. Employees will have until Sunday, September 19, 2021 to meet the job requirement of being fully vaccinated.
Approximately 36,700 people are employed by DC Government, including employees of the Council of the District of Columbia and the Office of the Chief Financial Officer. To date, 21,746 employees have reported their vaccination status to the DC Department of Human Resources. Of the employees who have responded, approximately 19,907 employees, or about 54% of the total workforce, reported being fully vaccinated.
While this vaccination requirement applies to employees who work in agencies that report to the Mayor, which includes approximately 32,700 employees, all independent agencies are highly encouraged to adopt the requirement.
The COVID-19 vaccines remain a critical tool for saving lives, reducing the severity of the illness in infected people, and stopping the spread of COVID-19. Severe illness from COVID-19 is rare in fully vaccinated people. From January 2021 when less than 1% of the total DC population was fully vaccinated to June 2021 when over 50% of the total DC population was fully vaccinated, DC has seen a 95% decline in COVID-related deaths.
Additionally, last month, Mayor Bowser and DC Health released comprehensive data about breakthrough COVID-19 cases in DC that underscores the effectiveness of the vaccines in preventing illness, hospitalization, and death from COVID-19. Current data shows that of the approximately 300,000 fully vaccinated individuals, DC has recorded only 546 breakthrough cases, or just 0.18% of all fully vaccinated individuals.
The COVID-19 vaccines are free, highly effective, and safe. To date, more than 70% of all eligible DC residents have received at least one dose of the vaccine. Individuals who are looking for the closest site to get vaccinated can find the closest location at vaccines.gov. There are over 100 vaccination locations across the District and more than 150 testing locations in the city.
Currently, all DC Government employees who are fully vaccinated and update their status in PeopleSoft receive an eight-hour time-off award. Additionally, all DC employees are able to use two hours of administrative leave per dose to get vaccinated.
Employees may be entitled to an accommodation on medical or religious grounds that exempts them from the vaccine requirement under certain circumstances. Employees who seek an accommodation from the vaccine requirement on medical or religious grounds must consult their agency’s Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) coordinator and each request will be evaluated on a case-by-case basis.