St. Paul drops its COVID-19 vaccine requirement for city workers

In an email sent last Friday, Mayor Melvin Carter announced the City of St. Paul is dropping its COVID-19 vaccine requirement for city workers, saying the city is in a position where the requirement is no longer necessary.

Last October, Mayor Carter issued the mandate, requiring city workers to be vaccinated for COVID-19 by the end of 2021. Carter's mandate was stricter than most, with the city not allowing an opt-out option to test regularly for COVID-19 in lieu of vaccination. At the time, Minnesota was in the midst of a wave of deadly Delta variant cases.

"As I have said many times, I will forever be grateful for your efforts and contributions throughout the course of the pandemic -- including the high percentage of you who did join in getting vaccinated -- to ensure we emerged from the crisis more resilient than ever," Carter's email reads.

The policy also faced legal challenges, with unions for police officers and firefighters fighting the mandate.

Carter says, despite the legal challenge and a court injunction, 2,700 city workers still got vaccinated. The lawsuit has since been dismissed.