Barnstable County Suspends COVID Vaccination Policy for Employees

Patient being tested at the Cape Cod Healthcare drive-thru facility at Cape Cod Community College early in the pandemic.

HYANNIS – Barnstable County has suspended its COVID-19 vaccination requirement for municipal employees. 

The change was formalized with a unanimous vote Wednesday by the Barnstable County Commissioners that also saw the addition of 5 sick days for new employees, who before had to accrue sick time hours on the job. 

Assistant County Administrator Vaira Harik said with the public health emergency declaration over, it’s time for the nature of the local pandemic response to change.

“We no longer see a reason to have a particular exception for vaccinations for COVID-related issues where we don’t have requirements for influenza, pneumococcal, pneumonia and that sort of thing,” Harik told commissioners at their most recent meeting. 

“Should COVID change its profile in the wild and reemerge and the Public Health Emergency is put in place again, we have the option of reinvigorating the policy.” 

Remote and hybrid work will remain an option. 

The vaccination requirement was implemented in November of 2021.

About Grady Culhane

Grady Culhane is a Cape Cod native currently living in Eastham. He studied media communications at Cape Cod Community College and joined the News Center in 2019.
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