NEW HANOVER COUNTY, NC – On Monday, August 2, the New Hanover County Health and Human Services Board recommended to county management that vaccinations be mandated for all eligible county employees. After careful review, research, and deliberation, New Hanover County Administration has implemented a vaccine policy, effective Tuesday, August 10, that will require current New Hanover County employees to verify their vaccination status, but not require mandatory vaccinations at this time.
Under the county’s policy:
A copy of the county’s Administrative Vaccine Policy can be viewed here.
“I am thankful to the Health and Human Services Board for its analysis, debate, and recommendation to the county,” said County Manager Chris Coudriet. “The health of our community and our employees was central to their discussion and is what we used as a guiding principle in creating this policy. We have a goal to maintain continuity of the county’s operations by ensuring the safety and health of our workforce – because we cannot provide the critical services we need to, or respond during an emergency like a hurricane, if our employees are sick or quarantined. And I believe this policy will help us ensure that goal is met.”
There has been a rapid increase in COVID-19 cases in New Hanover County and throughout the state due to the highly-contagious Delta variant, with weekly case counts more than quadrupling in just the past two weeks within New Hanover County. In the past week alone, from August 1 through August 8, 529 new positive COVID-19 cases have been reported in the county. And according to NC Department of Health and Human Services, the majority of new cases and hospitalizations are in those who are unvaccinated.
“Vaccines are our best defense against the COVID-19 virus, and we appreciate county leadership taking the important step to implement a vaccine policy that is in line with state recommendations, and that supports local public health guidance,” said Health and Human Services Director Donna Fayko. “We believe it will allow us to manage this virus and its spread within our organization, so that we can continue our work to serve the community. I encourage other employers in the community to follow the county’s lead in this effort, and work to get all of their employees vaccinated as soon as possible.”
New Hanover County strives to have no less than 75 percent of the organization to be vaccinated by October 1, to help ensure workplace safety and continuity of operations.