NYC Expands Vaccine Mandate to All Public Employees, Eliminates Test-Out Option

Under an executive order signed by the mayor last month, NYPD officers must either be vaccinated or show proof of a negative COVID-19 test each week but the new order expected to become official later Wednesday means about 20,000 unvaccinated officers must get at least one dose by Oct. 29 or be placed on unpaid leave, officials said. The deadline is 5 p.m. that day.

The NYPD has about 34,500 uniformed personnel and about 17,700 people in non-uniformed support positions. It had a vaccination rate of 61% last month, but that number increased to 68% in less than two weeks, according to NYPD Commissioner Dermot Shea.

The mandate goes into effect on December 1 for uniformed members of the Department of Corrections.

The two commissioners who oversee the largest police and fire departments in the U.S. have already said earlier this month that they support the mandate for the members of their respective departments. Shea had even made impassioned pleas to officers in a video message, urging them to get inoculated.

The new mandate comes shortly after the city reached an 85% milestone of residents with at least one dose of the vaccine.

The five boroughs were the first to enact one of the nation’s strictest vaccine mandates, a sweeping measure that requires shots for everyone entering a bar, restaurant, nail salon, gym or sports games, to boost the overall percentage of the population protected from COVID-19.

Mayor de Blasio continues to encourage those who have not gotten vaccinated to do so. At the rate the city is going, he says, there are only about one million adult New Yorkers left who are unvaccinated.

“At this point, there is only about one million adults left to be vaccinated and they keep coming in. The incentives the mandates, everything’s working,” de Blasio said.