Stamford officials: 80% of full-time city employees report COVID-19 vaccines, about 240 opt for weekly tests

Photo of Verónica Del Valle
Amy Busch, RN, prepares the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine at the Vaccination Clinic at Boccuzzi Park in Stamford, Conn. Thursday, May 13, 2021. Vaccines are being offered free of charge May 9 through May 15 thanks to a partnership between Griffin Health and the City of Stamford.

Amy Busch, RN, prepares the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine at the Vaccination Clinic at Boccuzzi Park in Stamford, Conn. Thursday, May 13, 2021. Vaccines are being offered free of charge May 9 through May 15 thanks to a partnership between Griffin Health and the City of Stamford.

Tyler Sizemore / Hearst Connecticut Media

STAMFORD — Three weeks after Mayor David Martin’s vaccine mandate for municipal employees went into effect, Stamford Government Center officials said 80 percent of its full-time employees report full immunization against COVID-19.

Of the approximately 1,202 people employed full-time by the municipal government, about 240 will instead undergo weekly coronavirus testing, according to Director of Human Resources Al Cava, for “either not being vaccinated or not yet reporting their vaccine status.”

Another 105 of Stamford’s part-time employees are subject to the testing requirement as well.

“To my knowledge, no employee has outright refused to test,” Cava said.

Martin’s Aug. 6 executive order states employees who refuse to get vaccinated or partake in the testing requirement would be disciplined — “up to and including termination” — and new hires could have their job offers rescinded.

Stamford reported on Sept. 21 that 71 percent of its full-time employees proved that they were fully vaccinated.

All employees are currently being tested by the city through Yale Pathology and Progressive Diagnostics, though the city allows employees to submit their own negative tests. But special mayoral assistant Laura Burwick said the city is working on finding a more permanent vaccination partner as the “number of employees that we are required to test continues to decrease.”

“We’re trying to do this in the least expensive and more effective way,” she said through mayoral spokesperson Rachel LaBella. The city anticipates having a final contract in place for employee vaccination by mid-October, she added.

The number of full-time municipal employees fully vaccinated far exceeds the number of fully vaccinated people citywide. Data released by the Connecticut Department of Health on Sept. 22 show that 69 percent of Stamford residents are fully protected against COVID-19. Just over 77 percent of the population has gotten at least one dose of a vaccine.

In early August, Mayor David Martin announced his vaccine mandate for municipal employees when the delta variant caused a full-fledged resurgence for coronavirus in Connecticut.

When the decree went into effect on Sept. 7, LaBella disclosed that 1,000 of the city’s 1,900 employees had submitted proof of vaccination. The city later warned that the figure included part-time, seasonal and Board of Education employees, who “have not returned in person after the pandemic and should not have counted toward the final count of official city employees.”

veronica.delvalle@hearstmediact.com