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Stone Mountain City Council still pondering COVID-19 vaccine mandate for city staff

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Stone Mountain City Council still pondering COVID-19 vaccine mandate for city staff

DeKalb County Board of Health R.N. Sheila Alexander examines a syringe of COVID-19 vaccine she has drawn up to administer to a frontline worker at the T. O. Vinson Health Center Auditorium on Winn Way in Decatur on Dec. 31, 2020. Photo by Dean Hesse.

Stone Mountain, GA — The Stone Mountain City Council discussed public works requests, a draft of a COVID testing and vaccine mandate for city employees, the fiscal year 2022 budget proposal, and more at a virtual work session on Tuesday, Nov. 16.

Because this was a work session and not a regular meeting, no votes were taken. The next City Council regular meeting will be held on Dec. 7.

City Manager ChaQuias Miller-Thornton presented a memorandum regarding a COVID-19 vaccine and testing mandate for city employees.

Oasis Health Care Service, the healthcare facility proposed for testing if a testing mandate should be put into place, is located at 813 Main Street. Employees would be asked to be tested each Monday regardless of vaccination status. Tests are free to employees.

Council member Diana Roe Hollis asked about City Council members being included in the testing as well, although they do not work at City Hall daily.

Council member Clint Monroe said he supports the idea of Council members being included in the testing mandate. “I would gladly do that [get tested] at any nearby facility. … The County provides it for free as well, just go online and ask for a free COVID test and you can find one near you.”

The City Manager is currently drafting the vaccine mandate memorandum. If the vaccine mandate was voted on and passed, employees would be required to provide either proof of full vaccination status or an approved reasonable accommodation to be exempted from the requirements.

Exemptions include a disability covered by the ADA or a “sincerely held religious belief, practice, or observance (covered by Title VII). Those exempted may be entitled to a reasonable accommodation, “for example, unvaccinated employees entering the workplace might wear a face mask, work at a social distance from co-workers or non-employees, work a modified shift, get periodic tests for COVID-19, be given the opportunity to telework, or finally, accept a reassignment.”

For more information about Tuesday’s work session, click here.

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