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79% of Sacramento city employees are vaccinated; police, fire and utilities among lowest rates

Employees were required to report their vaccination status by Oct. 15.

SACRAMENTO, Calif. — Nearly 80% of employees working for the city of Sacramento are vaccinated against COVID-19, according to the city's Human Resources Department.

Across the state, about 61% of California's are fully vaccinated, with 74% having received at least one dose of the vaccine.

The Department of Utilities, the Sacramento Fire Department and the Sacramento Police Departments have the three lowest vaccination rates with some of the largest departments in the city. The Sacramento Fire Department reported a 76% vaccination rate, and both the Department of Utilities and the Sacramento Police Department reported a 73% vaccination rate.  

There are 13 Sacramento Police officers who did not report their status. About 12 of those officers are either reserve officers, part-time employees or are on approved leave.

“We now will use this information to continue negotiations with our labor partners about an employee vaccination policy, which is expected to include a testing component," City Manager Howard Chan said in a statement.

The City Auditor's Office and the City Treasurer's Office both have a 100% vaccination rate, though they are among the smallest departments with 10 and 9 employees respectively.

Employees were required to report their vaccination status by Oct. 15. Those who did not report their status by that date will be put on unpaid leave.

The city said 72 employees have not submitted their vaccination status and 36 employees are in the process of being approved or are on approved leave.

"We’re in the middle of a public crisis"

Sacramento Vice Mayor Jay Schenirer wants to see all City employees verify they’re vaccinated or undergo regular testing, with very few exceptions.

“If they're not doing that, I don't think they should be working," he said. "I'm not saying we should terminate people and I'm not saying we should be paying people on administrative leave.”

“We’re in the middle of a public crisis. We have an obligation, I think, as city employees to do the right thing, and doing the right thing here is to be vaccinated, not even being tested,” he added.

"The right to choose whether or not they want to be vaccinated or not"

With more than 1,100 employees, the City’s largest department, Sacramento Police Department, has the lowest employee vaccination rate of 73%. 

“They have... to weigh the pros and cons of the vaccine and how that'll affect them individually and then make the decision that's best for them,” said Timothy Davis, president of the Sacramento Peace Officers Association.

These latest vaccination rates come as City leaders continue negotiations with labor groups to craft a vaccine policy. The City’s police and firefighter unions have pushed back against any form of requirement.

“Each individual employee should have... the right to choose whether or not they want to be vaccinated or not,” Davis said.

As the groups work to make a deal on policy, it appears negotiations could be heading toward a vaccinate or regular testing model.

A decision could be made in just weeks.


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