City of Cincinnati announces long-awaited vaccine policy with cash incentive

The policy applies to all city employees including first-responders.
Cincinnati City Hall (FOX19 NOW/Robert Guaderrama)
Cincinnati City Hall (FOX19 NOW/Robert Guaderrama)
Published: Sep. 1, 2021 at 4:47 PM EDT
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CINCINNATI (WXIX) - Employees with the City of Cincinnati will have to get vaccinated against COVID-19 or submit to weekly testing.

The full policy is attached below in a memo from City Manager Paula Boggs Muething to department heads.

Last week, Fraternal Order of Police President Dan Hils said a strict vaccine mandate without a weekly testing provision would be “bad policy.”

Negotiations on the policy issued Wednesday have been weeks in the making, Hils said. He explained the city has worked with labor unions in contrast to cities like Chicago where Hils said a mandatory vaccine requirement was announced without input from officers or compliance with labor laws.

The policy applies to all city employees as well as contractors who work on city property.

Per the policy, employees who remain unvaccinated after Sept. 9 will be required to produce a negative COVIID-19 test on a weekly basis.

The city will give employees an hour of administrative leave to get tested. Weekly testing events will be provided by the Health Collaborative. The city will also provide at-home testing kits.

Unvaccinated employees who don’t comply with the testing requirement or who test positive will be sent away from work and placed on leave using their accrued leave time or in an unpaid status until they comply or are released from quarantine or isolation by contact tracing.

Employees who receive a first (or single) vaccination shot at a Cincinnati Health Department facility after implementation of this policy will receive a $100 cash card.

Fulltime employees who are already or who become fully vaccinated will be eligible for a $50 “Healthy Lifestyles benefit” within a $300 cap.

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