Del Mar council unanimously approves COVID-19 vaccine mandate for city staff

Coronavirus

DEL MAR, Calif. — Del Mar City Council unanimously approved Monday a new COVID-19 vaccination mandate for all city employees in hopes it sets the example for other municipalities to do the same.

The body was scheduled to discuss vaccine mandate options, but that discussion ended with a motion to approve a mandate.

“I support a vaccination requirement (for) all employees, full and part-time,” Deputy Mayor Dwight Worden said. “I do not support a testing option. We don’t have the money to afford that.”

City staff presented three options, ranging from a vaccine mandate with no testing option, one that required regular testing among those unvaccinated, or just a regular testing option. Staff noted the third option would come at an annual cost of more than $60,000.

As of this week, 77% of city employees are already vaccinated, a staff presentation shows.

The next step involves the interim city manager developing the details of the vaccine mandate and setting a timeline for implementation.

“I’m all about efficiency,” Councilmember Dan Quirk said. “Having this testing option costs the city money and it puts them in a position to cost the city time.”

Councilmembers largely were on the same page with how they would choose to move forward.

“I’m happy to support the concept of vaccination mandatory, no testing with exemptions for religious and health reasons,” Councilmember David Druker said.

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