MILWAUKEE — Milwaukee County health officials said as of Sunday, 96 percent of county employees subject to the COVID-19 vaccination mandate are now vaccinated or have received an exemption.
The 96 percent includes 3,366 Milwaukee County employees. Public safety union employees are not currently subject to the mandate.
Officials also say 87 percent, or 3,055 employees, have submitted proof of vaccination. Nine percent (311 employees) are in the process of receiving an exemption. Officials also say 1 percent (35 employees) have had vaccine forms or exemption forms denied and are being encouraged to resubmit. In addition, 3 percent (104 employees) have not yet submitted proof of vaccination or an exemption request.
Health officials say 15 percent of staff who submitted proof of vaccination received their first dose after the mandate was put in place on Sept. 3.
“Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, County leaders have prioritized policies that reinforce our vision to become the healthiest County in Wisconsin,” said County Executive David Crowley. “Milwaukee County’s employee vaccination rate is encouraging and should be a signal to the broader community about how seriously we take the health and well-being of our employees and those we serve. Milwaukee County is committed to providing a workplace that is safe for all people - including the individuals Milwaukee County employees serve. Simply put, increasing the vaccination rate among employees helps keep everyone safe.”
The mandate went into effect on Oct. 1 and requires all current employees to verify their COVID-19 vaccination or receive an approved exemption in order to avoid consequences, officials say. To encourage vaccinations, compliant employees are offered incentives through the end of the year, including additional paid time off and cash bonuses.
“Vaccine mandates work. COVID-19 vaccination is the key to strengthening the health of our community and moving us out of the pandemic,” said Dr. Ben Weston, Chief Health Policy Advisor for Milwaukee County. “Milwaukee County employees are doing their part to protect themselves, their colleagues, their families and our community.”
Milwaukee County is also recommending employees receive their booster shot.
“While we are celebrating this achievement, our work is not done,” said Crowley. “We continue to provide information and resources to remaining employees to encourage them to get vaccinated and we are also working to encourage eligible employees to get a booster.”