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Jan 05

January 5, 2021 TML Coronavirus Update #162

Posted on January 5, 2021 at 2:16 PM by TML Staff

Urgent Updates


Will Texas cities be likely to mandate COVID-19 vaccinations as a condition of returning/continuing to work as a general employee or, more specifically, as emergency service personnel?


It doesn’t appear that such mandates will be widespread according to the survey results of an informal working group of Texas municipal human resource officials. Cities in the workgroup were asked the following question: “Will your city mandate the COVID vaccination for general employees? What about emergency response personnel?”


Of the 27 cities that responded, 22 cities answered “no” to both questions. Several of those 22 said that vaccines would be “highly encouraged” or something similar, though not mandated.


The remaining 5 cities were undecided.


No city reported that they for sure will mandate vaccines for either category of employees.


Thank you to Heather Morehead from the City of Arlington and Kathleen Shields from the City of DeSoto for compiling these answers and letting us reference them.

If we hear any changes in this trend, we will report on them in future Updates.


What’s the latest on vaccine rollouts?


Cities are reporting to us, and The Texas Tribune confirms, that the early rollouts are chaotic and unpredictable.


The first problem appears to be a gap between the number of vaccines that the state believes have been delivered to providers and the actual numbers those providers say they have administered. Compounding that problem is confusion and lag time in reporting accurate administration numbers back to the state. Because the state essentially directs to which and how many vaccines get shipped to providers, this disconnect is slowing the early process.


The League has reached out to numerous state officials and agencies to see what additional role cities can play in helping the process but the results have been mixed. There have been joint vaccine and therapy facilities opened in Houston and Austin, for example, but not a large level of intergovernmental cooperation beyond that at this stage, and not yet for smaller cities. We will continue to work with the state, including offering this email newsletter as a tool for distributing any needed information to Texas city officials.


Meanwhile, what’s the best source of information about vaccine rollouts?


The best one-stop location for the state rollout of vaccines is this DSHS website. It contains a useful overview of the staged rollout plan, where we are in that plan as a state, and sub-links to things like provider location maps and weekly allocation histories. We urge all city officials concerned about vaccines to make themselves familiar with this website.


Further Updates


Where can I find archived issues of the TML Coronavirus Updates?


TML Coronavirus Updates are archived by date here and by subject here.