The city of Decatur just announced it's requiring all city employees get vaccinated, effective immediately.
Employees who don't want to get vaccinated must get weekly testing instead but the Decatur City Manager hopes staff will take advantage of this new push.
She said workers need to make sure they're doing everything possible to keep themselves and the public safe.
"Community members should have confidence in the people that are serving them that in no way a city employee can be bringing them harm," Decatur City Manager Andrea Arnold said.
Employees like first responders, Decatur police and firefighters, who often have to go into a person's home when responding to an emergency call.
"We're public sector employees, we're serving the public and we do have, I believe, we have that duty," Arnold explained.
Arnold announced the new mandate during the city commission meeting Monday night.
The requirement is effective immediately.
Arnold said about 63% of their employees are already fully vaccinated.
"I know that we can do a whole lot better in terms of getting more and more of our employees vaccinated," she detailed.
We did ask Arnold if this policy could deter potential employees from coming to work in Decatur, especially police officers.
Right now, many departments are struggling to hire and retain officers nationwide.
"You can come to work and not have to worry and not have to worry about being exposed to your co-worker who carries the virus versus looking at another organization where it's wide open; certainly your going to choose that organization that has put your health first," Arnold told us.
During Monday's meeting, the city also extended its mask ordinance until November 1.
All new hires here in the city must get vaccinated but there are exceptions.
Current employees have until November 30 to get vaccinated or submit to testing twice a week.