DOYLESTOWN, Pa. - More vaccine mandates are popping up and a deadline for Bucks County government workers is coming up. Bucks County employs 2,600 workers and county leaders say they all have to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 by October 29th or look for new work.
"I was a little surprised by their decision, but I respect the county’s position. They’re trying to keep us protected," stated Kelly Bachtle.
Bachtle, a nine-year employee of the county, says workers are divided over the mandate which county leadership says it’s imposing, due to the rise in COVID cases from the Delta variant.
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In a memo obtained by FOX 29, Chief Operating Officer Margie McKevitt writes:
"We must do all we can to keep everyone safe, which requires a team effort for the good of us all."
"We want to keep our workers safe and have an obligation to our residents and folks who come in our buildings to make sure they’re as safe as possible," McKevitt remarked.
McKevitt says the 400 unvaccinated county workers have until September 17th to get the first shot and October 29th to be vaccinated.
Though there are religious and medical exemptions, according to the memo, there are incentives also, including the ax.
"Are you willing to fire employee who don’t do this?" asked FOX 29’s Jeff Cole.
"Unfortunately, they may come to it, yes," McKevitt answered.
Across the region, Montgomery County says it is considering a mandate, Chester County has no mandate and Delaware County has a limited mandate for health and custodial care workers. Philadelphia requires its workers to be vaccinated or double-masked.
But, Bucks is going all the way.
"I don’t get caught up in it. I’m vaccinated and it doesn’t involve me," Bachtle said.
"But some will have to bite the bullet?" asked Cole.
"Some will have to resign, absolutely," Bachtle replied.