East Brunswick NJ asks its employees to get vaccinated against COVID
EASTERN BRUNSWICK – The township is requiring all municipal workers to be fully immunized against COVID-19.
Under the township’s new COVID-19 policy, employees have a September 30 deadline to provide proof of their immunized status.
The documentation, which in many cases will be the vaccination card, must not include other medical information and will be kept in a separate file at the municipal human relations department.
Mayor Brad Cohen said the policy is not a mandate, but rather a condition of employment and an issue other cities have inquired about. He said the public health of the community trumps the rights of an individual.
“You do not have to work for the municipality. You can work elsewhere where it is not compulsory. We do not tell you that you have to be vaccinated, we tell you if you want to work in the municipality, to the township and interacting with the public and other employees is a working condition for us, ”said the mayor.
Accommodations will be made for employees with valid medical reasons, religious beliefs or other conditions not to receive the COVID-19 vaccine, Cohen said. People in this category would be required to be tested twice a week.
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Employees who do not provide proof of vaccination and have not requested accommodation by September 30 will be considered non-compliant and will be prohibited from working in any building, facility or in the township public, and will not be paid for any time they are It doesn’t work.
The non-compliant employee will receive 15 days’ notice that their job is in danger. If they remain non-compliant, they can be terminated, the policy says.
Cohen said that the thought of having to let the employees go “bothers me terribly”.
“I take every job seriously, but I have to balance that and the health of the people, and I will always side with what is in the best interest of the community and the people who work here and their health,” said the mayor.
On Monday, the new policy was sent to more than 200 staff.
The township had previously reinstated an indoor mask policy after the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recognized parts of New Jersey as an area at significant infection risk.
“Our reason for doing so is the increase in the delta variant which is much more contagious than the original COVID, and the fact that we are now fairly certain that even vaccinated people can transmit it but not as much as the unvaccinated people, and the fact that our goal and responsibility in the public service is to ensure that we ensure the health, well-being and safety of our community and the people who work for us, ”Cohen said, doctor.
Cohen said he believed the number of township employees vaccinated was comparable to the township vaccination rate, which Middlesex County reported at around 77%.
“I don’t want to spoil this now, when we have the potential to see this (virus) go away is within reach,” Cohen said.
While the policy is still being reviewed by the unions, Cohen said he knew some people were not happy with the decision and wanted to know why not all workers were given the opportunity to take two tests. times per week.
“We all know that with the delta variant, each person who gets it can infect six to eight other people and the incubation time is much shorter than the original version of the virus. “Does that mean? You can go out five minutes later, get infected, house it, and work by the time you need to take the second test,” Cohen said.
Cohen said he’s taken an oath as a doctor to do no harm and to act in the best interests of those you care for.
“My obligation is to ensure the public safety and the safety of the people who work for us. This is my number one goal, that I am a doctor and that I do this for my patients, that it is my role as mayor for the people I represent, “he said.” I take the science and l ‘uses to guide decisions. ”
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Suzanne Russell is a late-breaking reporter for MyCentralJersey.com covering crime, the courts and other chaos. To get unlimited access, please register or activate your digital account today.