Town of Hillsborough encouraging employees to get vaccinated by offering $300 bonus

Orange County News

HILLSBOROUGH, N.C. (WNCN) — The Town of Hillsborough announced on Wednesday that they will soon require employees to show proof of vaccination status or submit to weekly COVID-19 tests.

According to a release on the Town’s website, by Sept. 1, all Town of Hillsborough employees must either be able to provide proof of vaccination status or agree to be tested every week for the deadly virus.

On Sept. 1, those who have already been vaccinated or those who have received at least one dose of a two-dose series will be scheduled to get a $300 bonus from the town.

“With the delta variant being so much more contagious, it is imperative that we either get folks vaccinated or are regularly testing the unvaccinated,” Hillsborough Mayor Jenn Weaver said in the news release. “This is essential for the welfare of individual employees, their coworkers, and the community we serve.”

According to the Town, there are 97 employees, plus the mayor and five commissioners. So far, around 60 percent of Hillsborough’s employees and elected leaders have gotten their shot.

“We value every single member of our town workforce,” said Weaver. “I fervently hope this new policy will result in an increased vaccination rate and the town doing our part to maintain a socially and economically thriving community.”

The announcement comes just hours before Orange County’s new mask mandate goes into effect at 5 p.m.

Under the new rule, anyone 2 years and older, regardless of vaccination status, must wear a mask in all indoor settings.

“This step is essential if we hope to slow the spread of the Delta variant. While we ask all residents to take this precaution, more importantly, if you know individuals who have been reluctant to get the vaccine, please take them to a vaccination site to get their shot and protect yourself and your family members, friends and neighbors,” said Renee Price, Chair of the Orange County Board of Commissioners, in a statement Tuesday afternoon.

Last week, the county mandated masks for visitors and staff inside government buildings. The requirement is in place indefinitely. The county pointed to the recent surge in COVID-19 cases as a result of the delta variant for its update.

Orange County has the second-highest percentage of residents with at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine. Close to 70 percent of residents are at least partially vaccinated. It was beaten out by Martin County, which has an 86-percent vaccination rate.

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