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Austin Mayor Steve Adler calls for all City employees to be vaccinated

Adler is asking City Manager Spencer Cronk to require all City employees to be vaccinated or participate in regular testing.

AUSTIN, Texas — Austin Mayor Steve Adler is calling on City Manager Spencer Cronk to require City employees to be vaccinated against COVID-19 or participate in regular testing.

The requirement would come with “limited exceptions,” according to a press release.

Adler said the request is due to the delta variant and an “alarming surge of COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations” across Austin, the state of Texas and the U.S.

RELATED: Coronavirus updates in Central Texas: Wednesday stats tracker

He issued the following statement:

“With alarming increases in cases, ICU admissions, and community positivity rates, we must do more. We must especially act to better protect our children under 12 who cannot get vaccinated and are being put at needless increased risk.

I am today asking the City Manager to require city employees to be vaccinated (subject only to appropriate exceptions). Further, I urge Austin businesses also to require their employees to become vaccinated. We must all lead by our own example."

Adler cited President Joe Biden’s announcement that he is considering requiring all federal workers to be vaccinated as well.

The 7-day moving average of new hospital admissions in Austin-Travis County was 45 on Wednesday, with 66 new admissions. Adler said this is “pushing Austin dangerously closer to Stage 5 pandemic recommendations.”

A City of Austin spokesperson released the following statement in regard to Adler's request:

“The Governor’s Executive Order GA-35 prohibits the City from requiring vaccinations. However, the City Manager has urged staff to get vaccinated as an essential part of helping us end this pandemic. Being fully vaccinated is proven to provide the highest level of protection against COVID-19 and COVID variants.”

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