CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Two days after Mecklenburg County initially suspended nearly 600 employees for failing to submit required coronavirus test results, county data says 477 employees remain suspended without pay Friday.
The employees suspended had either chosen to not be vaccinated or had decided to not submit COVID-19 test results. Therefore they were required, under a county employment policy, to submit weekly COVID-19 test results. When 598 employees failed to submit their required test results, the county suspended them without pay Wednesday.
On Friday, WCNC Charlotte obtained updated data which helps explain the impact to county services by the department.
As previously reported, Parks and Recreation has the largest number of suspended employees, which as of Friday, was 187 total employees.
The total number of Parks and Recreation employees has actually decreased between Thursday and Friday from 775 to 742.
The department with the largest percentage of suspended workers had been the Board of Elections, which Friday had 101employyes, or 79% of employees, suspended.
The Mecklenburg County Department of Social Services has the largest number of full-time employees suspended. The 66 full-time DSS employees suspended are 6% of the department's total 1,062 employees.
The total number of employees, regardless of employment hours, suspended across county government equals 7% as of Friday. That number has decreased from 15% on Wednesday.
It was unclear if the employees who had returned to work were permitted to do so after submitting COVID-19 test results or updating their COVID-19 vaccination status.
Approximately 70% of Mecklenburg County employees have submitted proof of vaccination, according to officials. These rates outpace the fully vaccinated rate of the general public in Mecklenburg County, which was approximately 54% of the population as of Sept. 9.
As of Sept. 7, those working for the Mecklenburg County government were required to submit weekly COVID-19 test results if they were not vaccinated or had not submitted their vaccination status.
Suspension numbers do not reflect the Mecklenburg County Sheriff's Office or the Charlotte Mecklenburg Library, which have their own human resources departments.
Charlotte Mecklenburg Schools will start testing any staff member who has not reported being fully vaccinated starting Sept. 20. Their new testing program, which is in partnership with the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services, will be rolled out to all schools over the coming weeks.
Someone is considered fully vaccinated two weeks after receiving their second Moderna or Pfizer vaccine, or two weeks after receiving the single-shot Johnson and Johnson vaccine.
A COVID-19 vaccine is available to anyone 12 years of age or older.
A vaccine for younger kids is expected in the coming weeks.
Flashpoint is a weekly in-depth look at politics in Charlotte, North Carolina, South Carolina, and beyond with host Ben Thompson. Listen to the podcast weekly.
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