Hope City Board approves to give ‘thank you’ incentives for vaccinated city employees

The Hope City Board of Directors approved to give out incentives to vaccinated city employees as a “thank you” for getting vaccinated Tuesday evening at their monthly city board meeting.

City Manager Catherine Cook brought the incentive idea before the board in order to encourage more citizens to get vaccinated with the new surge in COVID-19 cases

“Over the last three weeks or so, we are seeing another surge of COVID-19 cases in Hempstead County,” Cook said. “What we’ve always wanted to do during these 18 months of the pandemic is continue to be able to provide the essential city services that are necessary for our citizens.”

The incentive that was unanimously approved by the board would be either a $200 pay or a paid day off to any current vaccinated city employees and future vaccinated city employees. Cook says she predicts that it will only cost the city $24,300 and that’s only if everyone takes the $200 pay and not the paid day off so it will be lower than that in reality. The money will come from the CARES Act fund.

“I’m just encouraging our employees specifically to have conversations with local, trusted sources,” Cook said. “Someone that they trust, their doctor, their nurse practitioner, whoever their primary care provider is. In the meantime, hopefully this will encourage more citizens to get vaccinated.”

Cook says that the surge in COVID-19 cases are having a clear impact on the hospital in Hope.

“Our hospitals are about all they can handle right now,” Cook said. “If someone has a major accident or another physical ailment, there’s just not going to be enough space and may be in the ER for an extended period of time.”

Hempstead County currently has about 60 active COVID-19 cases.

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