Tigard to mandate COVID-19 vaccine for employees
Tigard has become the latest jurisdiction mandating that its employees must receive a COVID-19 vaccination.
"Last Thursday, we informed the team that we'll be mandating vaccines," Tigard City Manager Steve Rymer said Friday, Sept. 10. "We've communicated that we'd like to have something in place by mid-November. At the same time, we are talking to our unions about the process, so we have to have the conversations with them as well."
While no final mandate dates have been set, Rymer said the city wants to make sure there is clarity regarding the vaccine requirement.
However, Tigard's sworn police officers will be exempt, according to guidelines set by the Oregon Health Authority.
Those local unions, which include an estimated 250 employees or more, are SEIU Local 503/OPEU and the Tigard Police Officers Association.
Tigard joins neighboring Portland and Multnomah County in mandating vaccines for employees.
In addition, last week, President Joe Biden announced plans to require companies with 100 employees or more to give their workers a choice: get vaccinated or undergo weekly testing for SARS-CoV-2, the coronavirus that causes COVID-19.
Rymer said reactions to the mandate have been mixed.
"There's a variety of reactions and viewpoints and opinions on this and so, as you'd expect. … It's a combination of people who are appreciative and others who are asking questions on why we are mandating it," he said.
While Rymer isn't sure of the exact number, he believes more than 10 city employees have contracted COVID-19 at some point.
He said the required vaccinations are all based on protecting staff and the community's health, one of Tigard's top priorities.
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