EL PASO, Texas (KTSM) — Future Doña Ana County employees must have a COVID-19 vaccine as a condition of employment, according to an on-site work directive.
County officials are directing new employees to be vaccinated as all government personnel return to their offices on June 1.
“Many of our employees have been working straight through the pandemic in their work locations. But we did have a good number who were teleworking, who were coming in every other day to work at their stations, said Dona Ana County Manager Fernando R. Macias. “But now, everyone is expected to be back to their pre-pandemic work locations on the 1st of June. That is the substance of the memorandum.”
Macias clarified that being vaccinated is a contingency to employment for future employees and does not apply to current unvaccinated employees.
More than 90 percent of employees have been vaccinated, he said.
“We certainly are encouraging the remainder of our workforce to become vaccinated. But again, the question becomes, do we want to continue to add new employees to our county operation that has such a high percentage of vaccination?” Macias said. “We don’t want to do that because we don’t want to put our workforce at any additional risk. And we want members of the community to know that when they come in to do business with the county, that they can feel as safe and secure as possible, because everyone that they’re dealing with has been vaccinated, and there is just a higher level of protection. That’s always been the goal as we try to advance or increase the percentage of our employees that are vaccinated.”
The county is also requiring employees to use face coverings as part of a directive from the state.
“We will continue to adhere to this order until it is changed,” the memo stated. “Vaccination will allow employees a greater degree of latitude and freedom in the work environment.”