San Juan to require vaccinations for municipal employees

By John McPhaul

San Juan Mayor Miguel Romero Lugo announced the signing of an executive order Wednesday requiring that all municipal employees be vaccinated against COVID-19 in order to carry out their work in person.

“According to data from the Department of Health, as of July 29, 2021, 72% of the population of San Juan has had at least one dose of the series of vaccines,” the mayor said. “However, only 60% of our population has completed the series of vaccines. During the period from July 16 to July 22, 2021, 212 cases of COVID-19 were confirmed in the Capital City. This represents an incidence of about 66.6 cases per 100,000 inhabitants, which is above the average incidence in all of Puerto Rico.”

“Given the outlook, both in San Juan and in all of Puerto Rico, it is important that the Municipality of San Juan accept the recommendation made by Gov. Pedro Pierluisi in Executive Order No. OE-2021-058 through which he ordered compulsory vaccination of all employees of the Puerto Rico government,” Romero Lugo added. “In doing so, we emphasize the interest that both the government and the Municipality of San Juan have in safeguarding the lives of the entire population and of our public servants.”

The executive order will go into effect on Aug. 16 and will apply to all municipal employees, including all career service employees, as well as employees appointed to positions of trust and employees with temporary status, regardless of the office, administrative unit or department to which they are attached.

As of the aforementioned date, all municipal employees will have to prove that they started the vaccination process with the first dose. By Sept. 30, all municipal employees must certify the administration of the second dose, if the type of vaccine that was administered requires it. Only those municipal employees who for medical reasons cannot be vaccinated and those whose religion does not allow it will be exempt from the requirement.

“The Capital City is home to 10% of the population of Puerto Rico and has over 5,000 municipal employees,” the San Juan mayor said. “Given this reality, it is essential that all municipal employees strictly comply with the provisions established by this executive order. It is our highest responsibility to safeguard life and communal health.”

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