CLEVELAND — All employees of the Cuyahoga County Common Pleas Court General Division, except those with medical or religious exemptions, will be required to receive the COVID-19 vaccine by Oct. 15, according to a spokesperson for the courts.
The judges voted by a majority on Monday. The vote was taken in part due to the collaborative work of the Administrative Judges of the Court of Appeals and the four divisions of the Common Pleas Courts: Judge Mary Jane Boyle, Judge Leslie Celebrezze, Presiding Judge Anthony Russo, Judge Thomas O’Malley, and Administrative and Presiding Judge Brendan J. Sheehan.
“We serve some of the most vulnerable people in the criminal justice system, kids. We are doing this for the good of the courts and the community," said O'Malley.
A spokesperson for the courts said there were several factors that went into the decision, including the rise of COVID-19 cases due to the Delta variant.
"The Probate division will be joining the General Division in requiring all employees, except those with medical or religious exemptions, to receive the COVID-19 vaccination by the deadline,” says Probate Court Presiding Judge Anthony J. Russo. “We believe in the safety and efficacy of the vaccine and that this decision protects the health of our employees and the community we serve."
The requirement to get vaccinated also came down to the need to maintain the operation of the courts throughout the pandemic.
“We are public servants. When people come to the Justice Center, many of them do so because they are required to appear in our buildings. Since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, we have followed CDC guidance and guidance from the state and county Boards of Health. On this issue, it is no different. We can protect our employees and the community we serve by being vaccinated,” said Sheehan.
A $100 incentive will be provided to county staff who receive a vaccine.
Visit our Vaccinating Ohio page for the latest updates on Ohio's vaccination program, including links to sign up for a vaccine appointment, a map of nearby vaccination sites, a detailed breakdown of the state's current vaccine phase, and continuing local coverage of COVID-19 vaccines in Northeast Ohio.
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