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Close to 600 suspended without pay in Mecklenburg county due to 'no proof of vaccination' or negative COVID test

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MECKLENBURG COUNTY, N.C. (FOX 46 CHARLOTTE) – On August 2, Mecklenburg county leaders informed employees of one way they would be fighting the spread of COVID. Employees were given until September 15 to provide proof of vaccination or proof of a negative COVID test.

“The county manager put a policy in place,” said county commissioner chairman, George Dunlap. “She gave all of the employees sufficient time to comply and today was the day in which they were expected to comply and unfortunately we had a number of employees who did not comply.”

598 employees didn’t provide the necessary information and were suspended without pay until they can provide such proof

221 were with the department of parks and recreation and are mainly part – time or temporary workers.

290 people work full time and of that 290, 119 work for the Department of Social Services.

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County commissioner chairman, George Dunlap says this was a necessary move to keep the people of Mecklenburg county safe.

“Given my history with the county,” says Dunlap. “I am certain that all the needs are going to be met for those who have needs with the department of social services, parks and recreation, or any other department.”

Some people living in the county say the rule is tough and made the comparison to a parent getting their child to do something they don’t want to do.

“They’re not going to listen if I politely say go and vaccinate for the benefit of other people,” added Ram Ganesh as he was leaving the Mecklenburg county courthouse. “For the community, they’re not going to listen to it.”

Dunlap says no one is forcing employees to do anything, and he feels there will be quick compliance.

“I am certain there are probably people who might decide they no longer want to work for the county,” says Dunlap. “That’s unfortunate, but they have that right.”

Dunlap says he supports the county manager and stands by her decision.

A Mecklenburg county spokesperson released a statement saying 70% of the over 5,600 people who work for the county has been fully vaccinated.

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