Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis requiring COVID-19 vaccinations for all 1,100 employees

The Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis says it will require all of its 1,100 employees to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 by the end of next month.

According to a post on the fed’s website by Chair Neel Kashkari, the new policy will be a "condition of continuing employment" unless people cannot be vaccinated due to medical conditions or religious beliefs.

The decision, explained Kashkari, stems from the bank being "critical infrastructure that supports the basic functioning of the U.S. economy."

While the office moved nearly 90 percent of its employees to remote work during the pandemic, Kashkari said the office needs "close collaboration among staff" to operate properly. He added that the Fed will "enjoy more flexibility in where we work going forward," but will not be a remote institution.

"In order to fulfill our public-service mission, we need more face-to-face contact that remote work allows, but there is no way for us to bring a critical mass of our staff back into our facilities and maintain social distancing. Hence, we need our employees to be vaccinated," Kashkari said.

More than 82 percent of the Minneapolis Fed’s staff are already vaccinated. Only a small percentage of the staff indicated they do not plan to be vaccinated.