Casper seeing rise in employees out due to COVID; vaccine incentives may launch with ~$124K in city funds - Casper, WY Oil City News
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Casper seeing rise in employees out due to COVID; vaccine incentives may launch with ~$124K in city funds

Ray Pacheco, left, and Steve Freel are sworn in as vice mayor and mayor, respectively, during a Casper City Council meeting on Jan. 5, 2021. (Dan Cepeda, Oil City)

CASPER, Wyo. — The City of Casper has seen the number of employees required to isolate or quarantine due to COVID-19 exposure or infection rise “significantly” since late July and the city is considering a new vaccine incentive program.

The Casper City Council will discuss the city’s proposed vaccine incentive program on Tuesday, September 21. Fully vaccinated employees would receive a $250 bonus, according to a memo from city staff. The incentive would be paid to employees who have already been vaccinated and any employee who gets fully vaccinated by Dec. 31, 2021.

The incentive program would also provide a $50 payment to employees who get a booster shot of any of the approved COVID-19 vaccines.

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The program would also pay employees $100 for each fully vaccinated spouse or dependent living in their home. This payment would apply only for people who get vaccinated after the incentive program gets implemented.

The program would be voluntary and would apply to both full and part-time employees.

The Casper-Natrona County Health Department has received funding from the Wyoming Department of Health to pay up to $100 for each city employee that is fully vaccinated or for their eligible dependents who get vaccinated. The C-NCHD funding would only be able to go toward paying people who get vaccinated once the program is implemented. The city would need to cover costs for employees already fully vaccinated and any other costs above what C-NCHD can provide.

The program overall would cost the City of Casper about $124,168, according to the memo from city staff:

Casper would utilize CARES Act funding for portions of the program that it pays that are not reimbursed by the health department.

The vaccination rate in Natrona County is around 36% and city staff say it is assumed the rate among city employees is close to that figure. The goal is to increase the vaccination rate to at least 65%.

City staff show in the memo that from September 7-13, the number of employees out due to COVID-19 had increased above 40:

(City of Casper)