DC mayor Muriel Bowser announced Tuesday that all District government employees are required to be vaccinated by September 19.
The new policy will have medical and religious exemptions. But all exempt employees must show a negative Covid-19 test every week. The mandate also includes all candidates applying for jobs posted on or after August 14, plus contractors, interns, and grantees.
Bowser’s mandate comes amid a slew of vaccination requirements being imposed on federal workers and state employees in Maryland and Virginia. Last month, President Joe Biden announced that federal employees must sign forms proving that they are fully vaccinated against Covid-19, or agree to being tested weekly if they opt out of receiving the vaccine.
Last week, Virginia governor Ralph Northam and Maryland governor Larry Hogan announced all that state employees are required to get the Covid-19 vaccine or provide weekly negative test results, starting next month.
Many DC-area businesses and private employers, including gyms and theaters, are also requiring or planning to require vaccinations. (For a list of bars and restaurants requiring proof of vaccination, click here.)
The vaccination requirement may be a relief for some parents, who are sending their children back to school later this month. The mandate applies to all DC Public Schools teachers and staff, many of whom would be interacting with students too young to be eligible for the vaccine.
Bowser has also created a number of incentives to encourage eligible school-aged children in DC to get vaccinated. The mayor recently announced a youth Covid-19 incentive program where children between the ages of 12 and 17 can receive $51 Visa gift card and AirPods, or have the chance to win an iPad or a $25,000 college scholarship.