The courtyard in front of Oakland City Hall on a sunny day on April 9, 2021, in Oakland, Calif. (Samantha Laurey/Bay City News)

Oakland city officials are proposing a mandate that city workers be vaccinated from COVID-19.

The proposal was announced and a draft released Thursday and the city will be negotiating with the unions representing the employees.

The aim of the policy is to protect the health of workers and the community.

“Oakland is following the lead of our Governor to ensure that our workers stay healthy and keep our community healthy at the same time,” Mayor Libby Schaaf said. “We are determined to beat the pandemic, keep our community safe through science-based decisions and actions, and instill trust in our residents that Oakland workers are vaccinated.”

The proposed mandate follows the recent rise in coronavirus cases and strong recommendations by the state and county public health departments, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, according to the city.

Three times as many unvaccinated people have contracted COVID-19 in Alameda County compared to their vaccinated counterparts, city officials said.

Under the proposed policy, city employees must tell the city whether they are vaccinated or not by Oct. 15 and if not, they must be fully vaccinated and verify that by Nov. 1.

Employees would be able to request an exemption for medical or religious reasons. The policy would be null if state or federal requirements are stricter.

Both full- and part-time workers must get vaccinated as well as interns and volunteers, according to the proposal. Contractors would be exempt from the policy, city officials said.

A representative for the union representing the most city of Oakland workers was not immediately available Friday morning.

The draft policy can be found at https://cao-94612.s3.amazonaws.com/documents/20210825-Employee-Vaccination-Policy_DRAFT.pdf.