Council approves Gracedale incentive
At a hastily called Dec. 17, 2020, meeting, Northampton County Council voted 7-0 to offer a $750 COVID-19 vaccine incentive to Gracedale workers.
Administrator Jennifer Stewart-King told council this could cost as much as $490,000 but will be paid out of CARES Act money specifically set aside for infection control at the nursing home.
In addition to this incentive, some Gracedale workers continued to receive hazard pay until Dec. 31, 2020.
Since the vaccine has been approved for emergency use only, Northampton County Executive Lamont McClure advised council he lacks the authority to make it mandatory.
This incentive only exists at Gracedale.
“We don’t have the money to incentivize anyone else,” McClure said.
The county also maintains 24/7 operations at the jail and 911 center. McClure expressed some hope money for vaccines would be in the $900 billion COVID-19 relief bill.
Council member Kerry Myers was absent, and council President Ron Heckman left the meeting before the vote.