Starting on September 13, all New York City employees will be required to either get a COVID vaccine or take a COVID test every week to continue working in their public sector jobs.

The announcement expands the requirement from just requiring Health and Human Services and those in 'congregate and residential settings' to get vaccinated or take a test each week, to more than 314,000 municipal employees - including those that work for the Department of Education and the New York Police Department.

'September is the pivot point of the recovery,' Mayor Bill de Blasio said at a news conference on Monday. 'September is when it will all happen.'

Those who remain unvaccinated will be required to wear masks at all times, he said, adding: 'There unfortunately will have to be consequences.'

'We unfortunately have to be very tough if a city government employee does not wear masks indoors if they're unvaccinated,' de Blasio said, with health officials later announcing that those who do not wear masks may be put on leave.

Mayor Bill de Blasio announced on Monday that all New York City employees will be required to get a COVID test starting on September 13 if they are not vaccinated against the virus

Mayor Bill de Blasio announced on Monday that all New York City employees will be required to get a COVID test starting on September 13 if they are not vaccinated against the virus

The mayor also announced that those who do not get a COVID vaccine will be required to wear a mask at all times, and will launch an 'NYC COVID Safe' app to allow people to display either their vaccination records or their negative COVID tests

The mayor also announced that those who do not get a COVID vaccine will be required to wear a mask at all times, and will launch an 'NYC COVID Safe' app to allow people to display either their vaccination records or their negative COVID tests

The mayor also urged private businesses to require vaccinations or weekly testing, saying: 'My message to the private sector is go as far as you can go right now.'

He added that the city may impose more 'mandates and measures whenever needed to fight the Delta variant.' 

'This is about our recovery, this is about what we need to do to bring back New York City, this is about keeping people safe, this is about making sure our families get through COVID OK, this is about bringing back jobs, you name it,' he said. 

To help with these efforts, de Blasio said the city will launch an 'NYC COVID Safe' application on August 2 that will allow people to display their vaccination records or their negative COVID tests. 

The COVID tests will expire after seven days to meet the mayor's requirement that city employees must be tested every week. 

NYC expands vaccination-or-test mandate to New York City workers
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The move comes just one week after the mayor announced that employees at the city's public hospitals and in Health Department community clinics would be required to get their vaccinations by next Monday, or begin submitting to weekly COVID tests.

And those in publicly-run residential or congregate care facilities, like nursing homes, would be required to present a proof of vaccination by August 16 or submit to weekly tests.

As of Monday, 70.6 percent of adults have received at least one dose of the COVID vaccine and 65.3 percent are fully vaccinated, according to the Health Department.

That amounts to more than 9.8 million people vaccinated in the city, the mayor announced on Monday.

But just last week, the New York Police Department announced that it had only vaccinated about 43 percent of its force, The Hill reports.

'Since vaccines became available we have encouraged our employees, especially those who have contact with the public, to get vaccinated,' the NYPD said in a statement at the time.

When asked about this low vaccination rate in the police force, de Blasio said the NYPD and 'every other agency [has] gotta do better. We gotta go farther.'

To help with these efforts, Governor Andrew Cuomo announced on Monday that the state is allocating $15 million to community vaccination organizations .

'These orgs have the expertise to move the needle in areas with high positivity and low vax rates,' the governor tweeted, adding: 'We've made incredible progress against COVID - but there's more work to do.' 

As of Sunday, the city's COVID positivity rate was above 1 percent, with a daily average of 591 confirmed cases and 233 probable cases, according to Health Department data.

There were at least 28 hospitalizations as of Sunday, and at least three confirmed deaths.

Testing, however, has increased past 2 percent, according to the New York Post, more than doubling the below 1 percent rate in early July. 

Nasal swab testing, like that seen here, will be required for all city employees who are not vaccinated beginning on September 13

Nasal swab testing, like that seen here, will be required for all city employees who are not vaccinated beginning on September 13

Governor Andrew Cuomo also tweeted on Monday that the state is allocating $15 million to community organizations to help improve the vaccination rates

Governor Andrew Cuomo also tweeted on Monday that the state is allocating $15 million to community organizations to help improve the vaccination rates

Speaking to WNYC on Friday, the mayor reiterated that more needed to be done as the Delta variant continues to spread.

'We tried purely voluntary for over half a year,' he told WNYC on Friday, according to the New York Post. 'We tried every form of incentives. But now we've got to go further, we've reached the limits of a purely voluntary system.

'It's time for more mandates.' 

'We've tried everything else and we got results, but we need more' people to get vaccinated.

'If people want freedom, if people want jobs, if people want to be able to live again, we have to get more people vaccinated,' the mayor said Friday. 

He added that: 'The Delta variant is like a freight train coming on, we've got to take it seriously.'

The United States recorded 15,711 new COVID-19 cases on Sunday with a seven-day rolling average of 52,116, which is a 291 percent increase from the 13,305 average recorded three weeks ago.

Deaths have continued to remain relatively flat with 56 recorded on Sunday and a seven-day rolling average of 281, 17 percent up from the average of 239 recorded three weeks prior. 


The mayor also called out people who spread 'misinformation' about the vaccines on social media, discouraging people from getting the jab.

He said the city Health Department is planning to write a letter to Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg and Twitter founder Jack Dorsey, calling on them to crack down on those who spread the false information.

'There are people spreading disinformation purposely for their own profit, for their own fame for their own political gains,' he said. 'Let's be clear, the folks who are out there lying about vaccinations lying about COVID are doing it for their own greedy reasons - not for your health and well-being but for their own aspirations.'

'That's what's going on and it has to end,' he said. 'And those who are enabling the disinformation have to stop. It has cost many people their lives.

'Those who spread disinformation are literally killing people,' he said, noting that 65 percent of the 'disinformation' is coming from social media, linking back to just 12 accounts.

'These people are still at large,' he said and are 'literally depriving people of their lives.'

He asked Zuckerberg and Dorsey to 'kick them off your sites immediately,' saying: 'If you don't stop the lies, then you are complicit in the rise of COVID.'

White House press secretary Jen Psaki on Friday said the Biden administration would continue fighting COVID-19 'misinformation' despite the president's recent gaffes illustrating the pitfalls

White House press secretary Jen Psaki on Friday said the Biden administration would continue fighting COVID-19 'misinformation' despite the president's recent gaffes illustrating the pitfalls

Jen Psaki says White House 'is not here to place blame'
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The mayor said he agreed with President Joe Biden's move to police what is posted on social media, a policy the White House announced last week.

The Biden administration is reviewing Section 230 - a 1990s era regulations that protects tech companies from being held liable for their content, in the way that newspaper and magazine publishers are. 

Democratic senators this week introduced legislation that would require internet platforms such as Facebook and Alphabet's Google to take down health and vaccine-related misinformation during public health emergencies or be held liable for its impacts. 

It would set up the Department of Health and Human Services to issue guidelines on what is and what is not misinformation. 

The announcement came after the administration admitted it had been flagging dangerous 'misinformation' to Facebook - such as claims that vaccines could cause infertility - for removal.

Republicans have since accused Biden of acting like a 'Cuban dictator' in the way it was pressuring private companies to censor speech.

'What the Biden White House is doing—namely, ordering big tech companies to ban Americans that do not regurgitate government approved messaging—is what authoritarian regimes do,' said Sen. Marsha Blackburn in a letter sent to the White House.

'The American people deserve to know the extent of the White House’s coordination with big tech. President Biden should waive executive privilege and release the emails.'

Free speech advocates have also raised bipartisan concerns.

'No matter which party is in power, the government cannot be trusted to label "truth" or "fiction" any more than Facebook or Twitter can,' said the American Civil Liberties Union, reminding viewers of how at the start of the pandemic President Trump claimed that COVID-19 would just disappear.

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