- The Washington Times - Monday, July 26, 2021

New York City workers must get vaccinated against COVID-19 or face weekly testing as of Sept. 13, Mayor Bill de Blasio said Monday, adding thousands of teachers, police officers and firefighters to the health-worker mandate he announced a week ago.

Mr. de Blasio said September is when schools resume and businesses will be looking to reopen offices following the summer vacation period.

“This is about our recovery, this is about what we need to do to bring back New York City,” the Democratic mayor said. “In September, everything is going to come together.”

Front-line health workers in public hospitals must be vaccinated or submit to weekly testing as of Aug. 2.

“We’re going to keep climbing this ladder and adding additional measures as needed,” Mr. de Blasio said.

Roughly 54% of city residents are fully vaccinated against COVID-19, compared to 49% across the entire U.S. population.

“We’re above the national average in vaccination but we need to do more,” Mr. de Blasio said.

The mayor said his decision is driven by his desire to stiff-arm the fast-moving delta variant before New York faces a setback in its progress after a nightmarish 2020.

The mayor also called on private employers to mandate vaccinations for their workforces.

“We’re leading by example — a lot of times private sector employers say that’s what they need,” Mr. de Blasio said.

Mr. de Blasio has resisted calls for a new mask mandate, saying he wants to emphasize vaccines as the most effective tool for wrangling the pandemic.

However, the mayor said Monday that city workers who are not vaccinated will have to begin wearing masks indoors at all times.

• Tom Howell Jr. can be reached at thowell@washingtontimes.com.

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