September 2, 2021 - Mayor Tom Henry today announced two initiatives aimed at lessening the current COVID-19 surge in the community.
Beginning Tuesday, Sept. 7, masks will be required, regardless of vaccination status, at all City of Fort Wayne-owned facilities, which include Citizens Square, the Fort Wayne Metropolitan Human Relations Commission office, Fort Wayne Parks and Recreation Department office, Parks and Recreation pavilions, community centers, youth centers, the Foellinger-Freimann Botanical Conservatory, and Fort Wayne Animal Care and Control’s facility.
In addition, City of Fort Wayne employees who are fully vaccinated or become fully vaccinated will receive a $200 wellness incentive. Employees can voluntarily provide written proof of vaccination status to the City of Fort Wayne’s Risk Management Department. By State of Indiana law, the City of Fort Wayne isn’t able to require proof of City employees having received the COVID-19 vaccine.
Mayor Henry also highlighted that he is evaluating the possibility of implementing additional measures to help ensure more City employees get vaccinated by a November 1 deadline put in place today by the City Administration.
Each year, City employees are provided the opportunity to receive a flu shot. This fall, the Allen County Department of Health will offer COVID-19 shots and flu shots at the same time to make it more convenient.
Allen County Health Commissioner Dr. Matthew Sutter participated in today’s announcement to urge eligible, unvaccinated residents to get vaccinated as soon as possible. Dr. Sutter also provided an update on the dire situation locally with high COVID-19 case counts, deaths, and the strain being placed on hospitals and the overall healthcare system.
“Getting people vaccinated is our top priority. We have a long road ahead of us, and it doesn’t appear the pandemic will end anytime soon unless we commit ourselves to getting vaccinated, masking up, practicing social distancing, and using good judgment,” said Mayor Henry. “I know Fort Wayne can do this. We’re a strong and resilient community with outstanding individuals, families, neighborhoods, and businesses. By working together we’ll be able to turn the corner. Discipline, hard work, and a commitment to following the guidelines and recommendations from the health experts will help get us there.”
Mayor Henry hopes that local government’s proactive response will encourage the private sector to look into the possibility of mandating COVID-19 vaccinations.