Half of employees put on leave for vaccine and testing policy in Dayton back on job

DAYTON — Nine of the 18 people who had been placed on unpaid leave after refusing to test under the city’s new vaccinate or test COVID-19 policy are back on the job, city officials said Friday afternoon.

Those employees returned after providing their own negative PCR test.

>> PREVIOUS: City says some employees on leave for vaccine policy

Since the new policy went into place about two weeks ago, 1,100 tests have been administered by the city and five of those tests have come back positive, new data shows.

Of the employees who had been placed on unpaid leave since the policy began Nov. 1, a dozen employees were split between the city’s police and fire departments, with six employees on each department now on unpaid leave. The remaining six employees were from other departments in the city.

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In the days leading up to the policy’s effective date, city officials said they were prepared for a potential “public safety nightmare” when the policy went into effect Nov. 1. The policy was announced in August and required all city employees to be fully vaccinated or be subjected to weekly COVID-19 testing.

>> City of Dayton, union leaders remain at odds over vaccine testing mandates

Also in the days leading up to Nov. 1, leaders representing the union for police and firefighters attempted to negotiate with the city but no changes were made in city policy.

Workers placed on leave can return to work with either proof of a negative test result or COVID-19 vaccination.