D.C. joins Maryland, Virginia in vaccine mandate for government workers

The District on Tuesday joined Maryland and Virginia in requiring government workers to be vaccinated against COVID-19.

All D.C. government workers, contractors, interns and grantees will be required to get vaccinated and have until Sunday, Sept. 19 to become fully inoculated, Mayor Muriel Bowser announced at a briefing.

She said the city will have a process for those who want to apply for medical or religious exemptions. Those who are exempted will have to undergo weekly COVID-19 testing.

So far, 21,746 out of about 36,700 city government workers have reported their vaccination status, according to a press release. Of those, about 19,900 employees, or 54% of the workforce, have reported being fully vaccinated.

D.C. Health Director Dr. LaQuandra Nesbitt said the city is seeing an increase in COVID-19 including among those aged 5 to 14 years old.

She said the majority of new infections are among people who are not inoculated, although there has been some increase in breakthrough cases in the last month.

“But the vaccine is indeed still working,” Dr. Nesbitt said, noting that about 90% of people hospitalized with COVID-19 are not vaccinated

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