Barrington municipal employees will be facing a new order very soon: Get vaccinated.
During an interview on Thursday, Barrington Town Manager Jim Cunha said he was planning to issue a mandate to …
Barrington municipal employees are facing a new order: Get vaccinated.
During an interview on Thursday, Barrington Town Manager Jim Cunha said he was planning to issue a mandate to all municipal employees, requiring that they be vaccinated for Covid-19. On Friday he made it official, signing the new policy into effect.
Mr. Cunha said employees who refuse the vaccine can apply for a medical or religious waiver or agree to be tested weekly.
The town manager said he had been considering the mandate for a while, but was waiting for the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to grant full authorization to the Pfizer vaccine. That approval happened earlier this week.
“I’m very comfortable with the decision,” Mr. Cunha said of his mandate.
Mr. Cunha said he has been proactive in his response to the pandemic: Barrington was one of the first communities in the state to have a mask mandate — it actually preceded the state’s mask mandate.
“This has been a Barrington decision,” Mr. Cunha said of the vaccine mandate. “I feel comfortable with it. I felt comfortable with the mask mandate.”
During an earlier interview, the town manager said the majority of municipal employees in Barrington had already been vaccinated. He said 98 percent of the fire department is fully vaccinated, while 60 percent of the police department employees have been vaccinated. Mr. Cunha said he was not sure how many town hall employees had been vaccinated and estimated that 60 percent of the department of public works staff has been vaccinated.
Mr. Cunha said it is important that the municipal employees get vaccinated — “they’re working in the public domain,” he said.
The mandate calls for all unvaccinated employees to receive their first dose of the vaccine no later than Oct. 1, and the second no later than Nov. 1. Employees who are already vaccinated are required to show their supervisors proof of their vaccination.