97% of Syracuse workers are complying with city’s vaccine or weekly test policy

Coronavirus

SYRACUSE, N.Y. (WSYR-TV) — There’s growing progress on the mandate front in the City of Syracuse.

On Tuesday, Syracuse Mayor Ben Walsh announced 97% of all city employees are following the mandatory COVID vaccine or weekly test policy.

The 3% of employees not complying with the policy equals about 42 city workers. Mayor Walsh says he has full confidence the workforce will reach 100%.

“We’re going to get there,” Walsh said. “We’ve seen great cooperation in partnership not only among our department heads and our staff but our labor leaders. That’s reflected in the numbers.”

The city implemented the policy on September 7. Mayor Walsh explained each week more employees are complying with the requirements.

As of Tuesday, the overall percentage of city employees who have shown proof of vaccination is 74%. The other approximately 15% of workers are choosing to get tested weekly for COVID-19 at a city-run clinic.

For those workers not in compliance with the policy, Mayor Walsh said there have been verbal and written reprimands across various departments, but no employee has been suspended or terminated.

“It’s a fluid, dynamic process but what we have seen from the beginning is a steady increase of overall compliance and I expect that to continue. In addition to people hopefully avoiding contracting COVID, the other benefit of the program is that we’re finding it. We’re identifying where the cases are and we’re isolating them before we have a significant spread within a department.”

mayor ben walsh, city of syracuse

The city’s overall vaccine rate is a work in progress. Only 48% of the city’s total population is fully vaccinated.

Mayor Walsh said 64% of adults in Syracuse have one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine, but that’s about 20% lower in comparison to Onondaga County’s data.

“It’s a challenge, but we’re going to continue to fight,” said Walsh.

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