NYC-area transit workers must get vaccinated or tested

The MTA and Port Authority will require its employees in the New York City metropolitan area to either be fully vaccinated or undergo weekly COVID-19 testing starting Labor Day.

"They are going to have a lot of people saying they don't want to take the vaccine and it's a pain in the neck to get tested every week," Gov. Andrew Cuomo said on Monday, as he thanked the chairman of the MTA and the executive director of the Port Authority for making the decision to mandate shots or testing.

"The new vaccine and testing mandate is being introduced to make sure that our employees are protected as possible against the delta variant, as the city and region's recovery picks up speed," MTA Chair Janno Lieber said.

The union representing public transit workers isn't showing any pushback. 

"We strongly believe everyone should get vaccinated. It's the best way to protect yourself and your loved ones. Anyone who has concerns, should ask their doctor for advice," TWU Local 100 President Tony Utano said in a statement. "We will continue to urge members to get the shot and will work with the MTA to ensure testing options are widely available at work sites."

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In the city, Mayor Bill de Blasio started his daily briefing right as Cuomo's was ending. The city just hit an important milestone — 10 million vaccine doses administered as the $100 incentive program at city-run vaccination sites continues. There are also strong new requirements for new hires in the city.

"Effective immediately, every single new person hired by the City of New York, before they report to work, they must provide proof of vaccination," de Blasio said. "Every new employee must provide proof of vaccination or they cannot start their new job. Period."

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As we approach the fall, this is the last week for kids 12 and older to get fully vaccinated by the first week of school. Schools Chancellor Meisha Ross Porter called on all eligible students to get their shots.

De Blasio is also joining the city's health commissioner in urging all New Yorkers to put their masks back on indoors.

"Today I am making a strong recommendation that everyone, regardless of vaccination status, wear a mask in public indoor settings," Health Commissioner Dr. Dave Chokshi said. "This is based on our review of the latest scientific evidence, showing the delta variant of the coronavirus can spread even more easily than was previously thought."

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