What’s happening?

On October 18, Baltimore City’s mandate requiring all municipal workers to either get vaccinated for COVID-19 or take regular tests began, while Baltimore City’s mandate went into effect on October 15. 

The status of police officers and firefighters, in particular, is relevant to the public because these are essential workers who engage with residents on a daily basis. 

As of October 18, most agencies weren’t able to tell the public exactly how many employees are complying with the guidelines, The Baltimore Sun reports. “Only Baltimore [City] Police had a tabulation ready for the public [on October 15], saying that 64% of their employees are vaccinated, although it did not provide a breakdown between its 2,500 rank-and-file officers and 500 civilian workers.” 

What’s the issue with getting their statuses? 

According to The Sun, Sgt. Mike Mancuso—head of the Baltimore police union—shared a letter on October 15 advising members not to share their status with the city. “Until the city responds to our right to bargain these issues, or the courts intervene, I suggest you do nothing in regard to revealing your vaccination status as it is outlined in the city’s policy,” he wrote. 

Other agencies said they’re still collecting the data and will release it to the public as soon as possible. It’s unclear whether the mandate comes with a deadline to release the information to the public. 

Anything else I should know? 

In other cities and towns throughout the region, where employees aren’t mandated to prove their vaccination status or get tested, officials say they aren’t bothering to ask. And if they do have the data, they aren’t releasing it to the public because they’re only rough numbers.

You can read more here