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Napier not convinced Biden vaccine mandate will apply to City of Casper

Casper City Manager Carter Napier (City of Casper, Youtube)

CASPER, Wyo. — During a discussion of a proposed vaccine incentive program for City of Casper employees on Tuesday, September 21, Casper City Manager Carter Napier said the he is not recommending that the city mandate vaccines for employees.

Council member Bruce Knell asked whether the City of Casper will be subject to President Joe Biden administration’s forthcoming mandate that will require employers with 100 or more employees to require employees to get vaccinated against COVID-19 or submit to weekly COVID-19 testing.

Napier said that the city is waiting for further guidance to know for certain whether the mandate will apply to the city. Napier said that he is currently “not convinced that we fall under that program.”

He said that he would not be proposing a mandate for the city unless the federal government forces the city’s hand.

Knell said that he would “hate to see a mandate put on our city employees.” He said he is also opposed to using taxpayer dollars toward an incentive program for city employees. Knell said that using CARES Act dollars allocated to Casper only to incentivize city employees and not the entire citizenry seemed inappropriate to him.

“I think it is way beyond the scope of what we should be doing,” Knell said of the vaccine incentive program.

Napier told the council on Tuesday that 141 employees, or 16% of the city’s workforce, have been forced to isolate or quarantine since the end of July. He said that 60 employees have tested positive for COVID-19 and the city has calculated that 80-90% of those employees have not been fully vaccinated against COVID-19.

As of 6:15 p.m., the city council was still discussing the proposed vaccine incentive program. Oil City will provide further information as it becomes available.

The Wyoming Department of Health provides COVID-19 case, variant, death, testing, hospital and vaccine data online. The department also shares information about how the data can be interpreted. COVID-19 safety recommendations are available from the CDC.