St. Paul mandates COVID-19 vaccines for city employees

St. Paul Mayor Melvin Carter speaks at a press conference.
St. Paul Mayor Melvin Carter speaks in 2018. St. Paul is mandating its employees to be vaccinated for COVID-19.
Evan Frost | MPR News 2018

The city of St. Paul announced Thursday that it will require all city workers to get vaccinated against COVID-19 by the end of 2021, without an option of routine testing for those who don’t want to get the shot.

Mayor Melvin Carter is defending the city's stringent mandate for its employees as a matter of public safety. He says the decision to impose the mandate was made to protect the health of city workers and others.

“Since testing only provides a way to determine if someone has COVID after they’ve already contracted it, it offers no protection for an unvaccinated individual nor any individuals they interact with,” he said in a video announcement.

"It's a matter of protecting our families, our co-workers and their families, of [protecting] the public who walk into our rec centers, our libraries, who engage with our public services every single day,” Carter told MPR News. “And it's a matter of doing our part to help prevent overcrowding in our hospitals."

Carter said city employees who refuse to comply by year's end will lose their jobs. There is an opt out option for those with religious objections.

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