City Council may discuss vax mandates for all city workers, first responders

Harrison Thorp 7:10 a.m.

City Council may discuss vax mandates for all city workers, first responders

Tonight's City Council meetings will Immediately following the finance committee meeting, which begins at 6 p.m.

ROCHESTER - Recommendations for battling COVID's Omicron variant at the city level include mandatory vaccinations and boosters for all City of Rochester staff and first responders as well as mandatory masking in all retail establishments, according to a health care provider's recommendations sent the Strafford County Public Health Network.

The recommendations made by Transformative Healthcare are included in the City Council packet distributed on Thursday to be discussed at tonight's City Council meeting, the first of the new year with a newly seated council.

The recommendations urge municipalities to make vaccines mandatory for all city restaurant workers and patrons if the retail mask mandate cannot be implemented.

So far Gov. Chris Sununu has shied away from reinstituting the mask mandates of 2020.

City Manager Blaine Cox said on Monday the recommendations are part of correspondence sent the city, and the recommendations won't be on the table unless Mayor Paul Callaghan or City Councilors choose to bring it forward for discussion and possible action.

The recommendations, written by Scott Schuler, an incident commander at Transformative Healthare, also urge municipalities to "Declare a local emergency as allowable, or create a resolution to emphasize the gravity of the situation for the public."
Other recommendations include installing MERV-13 air filtration systems in all city buildings and urging city personnel and elected officials to "make repeated public statements ... about the importance of universal masking."

Schuler also offers a testing component including passing out at-home antigen tests at Rochester Public Library and encouraging frequent PCR and Antigen testing.


Consider testing mandates for nonvaccinated individuals to enter certain types of establishments

Establish a "test to stay" policy, when supply allows, for staff to stay at work after exposure.

Schuler also indicates he will help the city find funding solutions if needed.

Transformative Healthcare is based in Wellesley, Mass., and serves state and municipal governments, hospitals and nursing facilities with advanced life and basic life ambulance transport and other healthcare services.