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Vaccine mandate for Dane Co. employees ‘on the table,’ official says

Published: Jul. 29, 2021 at 9:34 PM CDT|Updated: Jul. 29, 2021 at 10:53 PM CDT
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MADISON, Wis. (WMTV) - At the heels of a vaccine mandate for federal employees, a Dane County official says COVID shots may be required for county staff.

“It’s certainly something that we’re looking at, and it’s a fairly big decision for the county,” said Greg Brockmeyer, Dane Co. director of administration. “It’s definitely on the table, and as we see an increase in COVID cases, it’s certainly a response to that increase.”

Thursday, President Joe Biden said federal workers who aren’t fully vaccinated must mask up, get tested weekly and social distance.

On the same day, Public Health Madison & Dane County addressed the rising seven-day average of new COVID cases at a mayoral briefing.

“We are at the high, high end of moderate levels of transmission, but cases are climbing quickly and we will likely be in CDC’s substantial category tomorrow,” Katarina Grande, PHMDC data team lead, said.

For those in the “substantial” category, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends masks for most people, including the vaccinated.

PHMDC has made that recommendation since earlier this week. The agency did not say Thursday whether entering the “substantial” category will mean further changes.

“We know that people that are vaccinated are protected still from severe illness and death. However, very, very recent research from the CDC suggests that vaccinated people with symptoms could still be spreading COVID to others. This is a change from earlier in the pandemic,” Grande said.

Rock and Dodge counties were in the “substantial” category Thursday. The Dodge Co. public health official did not respond to NBC15′s request for comment.

The Rock Co. public health officer was unavailable for an interview but shared this statement with NBC15: “We are concerned about the recent rise in the number of people who have tested positive for COVID-19 in Rock County. We believe that the rise in cases is associated with the Delta variant, which is suspected to be more transmissible than other forms of the virus. We encourage everyone 12 years of age and over to get vaccinated.”

Governor Tony Evers’ office also did not respond to requests for comment regarding a mandate for vaccines among state employees.

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