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Skaneateles requiring village employees to get COVID-19 vaccine
COVID-19

Skaneateles requiring village employees to get COVID-19 vaccine

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Vaccine Clinic

A nurse prepares to administer the Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine at a Cayuga County Health Department clinic in July. 

A central New York village is requiring its employees to be fully vaccinated amid the COVID-19 pandemic. 

The village of Skaneateles in Onondaga County issued the vaccine mandate on Tuesday. Employees must be fully vaccinated by Nov. 5. 

Skaneateles Mayor Mary Sennett told The Citizen that the village board of trustees felt the requirement was important. 

"Health and safety for our community is always foremost," she said. "This is certainly a health and safety issue." 

The village has under 15 full-time employees. There is also an unknown number of part-time employees who will be covered by the requirement. 

According to the policy, an employee is considered fully vaccinated when they have received both doses of a two-dose COVID-19 vaccine (Moderna or Pfizer) or the single-shot Johnson & Johnson vaccine and have waited at least two weeks for the vaccination to become fully effective. 

Vaccine mandates are becoming more common as the COVID-19 pandemic rages on. President Joe Biden is requiring workers at businesses with 100 or more employees to either get vaccinated or submit to weekly testing. In New York, there have been state-level vaccine mandates. Before leaving office, former Gov. Andrew Cuomo issued a directive requiring all health care workers to get vaccinated. 

There have been some complaints about the mandates and lawsuits have been filed challenging the constitutionality and legality of the requirements. But a new Siena College poll shows most New Yorkers support vaccine mandates. 

Skaneateles' vaccine mandate comes as COVID-19 cases are on the rise in central New York. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Onondaga County had 1,163 new cases in a 7-day period, with a case rate of 252.54 per 100,000 people. The county had a 6.21% 7-day average positivity rate. 

While there has been a recent surge, Onondaga County has a high vaccination rate. So far, 74% of eligible residents ages 12 and older are fully vaccinated. 

Politics reporter Robert Harding can be reached at (315) 282-2220 or robert.harding@lee.net. Follow him on Twitter @robertharding.

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Online producer and politics reporter

I have been The Citizen's online producer and politics reporter since December 2009. I'm the author of the Eye on NY blog and write the weekly Eye on NY column that appears every Sunday in the print edition of The Citizen and online at auburnpub.com.

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