With less than half of the department vaccinated, the NYPD has implemented a new workplace rule: either get vaccinated, or be prepared to mask up.
The move comes after the state had mandated vaccines for public-facing health-care workers without exception, and the city has mandated proof of vaccination or masks and weekly tests for city employees.
Only 47% of police employees are vaccinated, and 59 members of the department have died of the coronavirus, the New York Daily News reported.
In a statement, the NYPD said only cops who provide proof of vaccination for the department’s medical division can forgo masks in the workplace. Officers could remove them to eat or drink, but must otherwise wear a mask constantly.
“Members who do not have official proof of COVID-19 vaccination on file with the Medical Division must wear a face covering at all times while working, whether indoors or outside, including while driving in Department vehicles,” the mandate read.
Supervisors will take “appropriate disciplinary actions” if officers do not follow the new rule, the statement warned.
The city’s powerful police unions have not yet commented.