North Bergen issues vaccine mandate for municipal employees

Unvaccinated employees must be tested regularly and are required to wear masks

The North Bergen Board of Commissioners held their second in-person meeting of 2021 on Oct. 20.
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The North Bergen Board of Commissioners held their second in-person meeting of 2021 on Oct. 20.

The North Bergen Board of Commissioners has approved a resolution issuing a vaccine mandate for township employees.

The board unanimously approved the resolution at its Oct. 20 meeting requiring North Bergen municipal employees to either be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 or be tested for the virus on a regular basis.

The move follows similar orders for municipal employees of Hoboken and Weehawken.

Unvaccinated employees are required to get tested each week. According to the resolution, the testing will occur during work hours at the expense of the township.

Additionally, unvaccinated employees are required to wear masks inside municipal buildings.

‘Fair’ policy for unvaccinated?

Township Administrator Janet Castro said the policy would take effect on Monday, Oct. 25.

“Any township employee that is not vaccinated will be required to submit to weekly testing and have a negative result,” Castro said. “Masks are required for those who are not vaccinated.”

Mayor Nicholas Sacco said it was not as harsh compared to other vaccine policies in other places.

“In New York City, they’re actually not going to pay their law enforcement, they’re going to put [unvaccinated employees] on unpaid leave,” Sacco said. In terms of the township’s policy, he added: “This seems to be the most fair.”

Get the jab!

Sacco said that getting vaccinated is important to prevent the spread of the virus, noting that the local high school football team was going to have to cancel their upcoming game and go into quarantine after an unvaccinated player tested positive for COVID-19.

According to Castro, the North Bergen Health Department continues to administer first and second doses of the COVID-19 vaccines, as well as third doses and booster shots. For more information or to schedule an appointment to get vaccinated, go online to northbergenvaccine.org.

As of Oct. 14, approximately 77 percent of adults were fully vaccinated. Approximately 88 percent of adults had received at least one dose, according to the township.

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