Governor Orders Executive Branch Workers to Get Vaccinated

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BOSTON — Executive Department employees will be required to provide proof of COVID-19 vaccination on or before Oct. 17, with the likelihood of mandatory booster shots in the future.
 
Failure to comply may result in disciplinary action, including being fired. 
 
Gov. Charlie Baker issued the executive order on Thursday as new cases of the novel coronavirus continue to climb. The administration at the beginning of the month ordered all employees of health-care facilities, including long-term care operations, to be fully vaccinated by Oct. 10. 
 
All Executive Department employees will be required to provide proof that they have received either the required two doses of the Moderna or Pfizer or the single dose of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine by Oct. 17. In the coming weeks, employees will receive information about the process by which they may provide this verification to the commonwealth. This process will be made available well in advance of Oct. 17. All documentation related to an employee's COVID-19 vaccinations will be maintained confidentially. The policy applies to both employees working in-person and those who are teleworking.
 
As new CDC guidance regarding booster vaccine doses is issued in the future, Executive Branch employees will also be required to provide proof they have received those doses by a deadline to be established. Employees for whom vaccination is medically contraindicated or who object to vaccination on the grounds of sincerely-held religious reasons may be entitled to an exemption from the requirement to demonstrate vaccination. The administration will provide further guidance in the coming weeks for employees who may wish to seek such an exemption.
 
Executive Department employees who are not vaccinated or approved for an exemption by the deadline will be subject to disciplinary action, up to and including termination. The administration says it will continue to work with union partners regarding this policy, and specific ramifications of non-compliance for staff represented by unions will be discussed well in advance of Oct. 17 with each employee union. Management employees not in compliance will also be subject to disciplinary action up to and including termination.
 
Vaccination is considered the best way to protect yourself against COVID-19. Vaccine doses are available in more than 900 locations across the state, many of those walkup. About 85 percent of eligible individuals have now had at least one dose of vaccine. Learn more about the COVID-19 vaccine and where to get vaccinated: www.mass.gov/COVIDvaccine.

Tags: COVID-19,   vaccinations,   


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Indoors Out! Dance on North

PITTSFIELD, Mass. — Downtown Pittsfield, Inc. will present Indoors Out! Dance on North on Saturday, Sept. 25, 5-7 pm, at Persip Park, 175 North Street, and Sotille Park, 200 North Street. 
 
The two downtown parks will host free outdoor dance performances by local (and nearby) performers. Performances include works by RawDance, Fiona Scruggs, Fern Katz, Danielle Galietti, and Molly Hess. 
 
Performances will loop over the course of the two-hour event, so there is time to catch the action at both locations. 
 
Indoors Out! Dance on North is presented by Downtown Pittsfield, Inc. and funding has been provided by the Commonwealth Places Program created by MassDevelopment.
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