Cobb County has new benefit for vaccinated employees

Cobb County has a new emergency leave policy for county workers. Those that can't work because of COVID-19 will get full pay for the days they're out for up to two weeks. But here's the twist, this is only for those who have been vaccinated.

"It's to provide a benefit for those employees," said Cobb County manager Dr. Jackie McMorris.

The American Rescue Plan Act funds will cover the cost of leave associated with COVID-19.  

Officials say just under 50 percent of county employees are vaccinated.  

Cobb has been hit hard by COVID-19 and now they're seeing employees with breakthrough cases.

"We found the majority of breakthrough cases are those right around the 7- or 8-month mark from the second shot," said McMorris.

"We have a responsibility for health and safety of county," said Chairwoman Lisa Cupid.

Chairwoman Cupid says what this all comes down to is keeping employees safe and keeping the county government up and running.

"I want to do what's right by this organization and we're not doing what's right if we're going to hemorrhage dollars because we're paying overtime because people are out with COVID," said Cupid.

While the policy is designed to support those who have gotten the vaccine, it could also be an incentive for others to get the shot.

"Anything we can do to encourage people to take care of themselves and have a healthy workplace," said McMorris.

The Board of Commissioners also decided to hire a consultant to help them determine the best way to use the American Rescue Plan funds to help battle COVID-19.

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