Montgomery County, Maryland’s COVID-19 database now includes the number of county employees who reported they’ve been vaccinated.
According to County Executive Marc Elrich, the data shows that over 80% of the county workforce has been vaccinated — and that among those, 90% are fully vaccinated.
But the same data posted on the county’s COVID-19 database shows that some departments have large numbers of employees who have not responded to the survey.
According to information posted by Monday, 37% of the Fire & Rescue Service Department had not responded to the survey.
At the Department of Correction and Rehabilitation, 31% had not responded, and 25% of the employees at the Department of General Services had also not provided a response to the query as to whether they’d been vaccinated.
In a statement Monday evening, Elrich referenced the number of non-responses and wrote:
We are going to continue to work with our department leaders and partners in labor to receive the information from the remaining 20 percent that have not reported. Over the upcoming week, we will also be setting up our employee COVID testing program for those unvaccinated or not reporting.
During a briefing with members of the Montgomery County Council and the county’s acting chief health officer, Dr. James Bridgers, Council President Tom Hucker said, “I think we’re going to continue to make every possible effort to get our employees vaccinated as quickly as possible.”
Hucker made a distinction between those who reported that they had not been vaccinated, versus those who simply had not yet provided a response.
For example, while 37% of Fire & Rescue Services workers did not respond to the survey, 58.8% indicated they had got at least one dose of the vaccine, and 4.2% reported they had not been vaccinated.
Council Vice President Gabe Albornoz said there are “a range of issues” involved with the reporting, but added: “We have a number of staff members that just don’t — I literally mean, don’t — interact with computers very often in their jobs. Their jobs are in the field.”
Albornoz said he’d posted his vaccination card, which he called a “fairly straightforward” process, although he explained it meant downloading his card onto his phone, then uploading it from his phone onto his computer. That is a process that he does “all the time,” he said, but then added, “I’ll be personal here: If this were my parents and they had to do something similar, they may have struggled here a little bit.”
The department with the greatest number of employees reporting they’d been vaccinated: the Department of Public Libraries, with 93.7% stating they have received at least one dose of a COVID vaccine.
The information posted on the county’s website does not include temporary or seasonal staff. The information is being reported on a daily basis, according to the county’s website.
WTOP has reached out to Montgomery County’s Police Department and the Department of Fire and Rescue Service to ask about their response rates.