NEW ORLEANS — The New Orleans Regional Transit Authority announced Friday that vaccinations will be required for all employees.
The agency said the change comes after the recent surge in COVID-19 cases due to the Delta Variant.
“Out an abundance of caution the RTA is requiring COVID-19 vaccinations for all employees,” said Alex Wiggins, RTA CEO. “This decision was made to protect the health and safety of our transit operators, administrative employees, and our ridership as the region sees increased COVID-19 transmission rates among the unvaccinated individuals.”
Starting Monday, July 26, anyone that is unvaccinated will have to have their first shot no later than July 29. The agency said exceptions will be made rarely, for RTA employees with documented medical or religious reasons.
Employees will have to provide valid proof of vaccination.
RTA also brought back the mask mandate, daily temperature checks and regular onsite COVID-19 testing for all employees.
"We are seeing a pandemic among the unvaccinated,” said Mayor LaToya Cantrell. “RTA has been diligent in serving our residents throughout this pandemic, and they are critical to our operations as we are actively in hurricane season. By requiring vaccinations, it is a reminder to all agency employees and all residents that we have a responsibility to not only protect ourselves, but to protect the communities around us as well. This is a step in the right direction to prevent the rapid rate of the spread of COVID-19."
The RTA sai\d they will continue to provide all staff with PPE of masks, gloves, and sanitizer.
Vaccination exceptions will be made in the rare circumstances for RTA employees with documented medical or religious reasons.