COVID-19 information
/
For the latest updates, please visit our coronavirus (COVID-19) website:
Last updated:

COVID-19 compliance information and resources for City workers

Please continue to check this page for updates and additional information as it becomes available.

Protecting the health, safety and economic recovery of our community requires that we work together to prevent further spread of the COVID-19 virus. The most effective tools for achieving this goal are widespread vaccinations and continuous testing.

Here’s everything you need to know about COVID-19 vaccine verification or required testing for City employees.

Still have questions? Contact:
Human Resources
1 City Hall Square
Room 612
Boston, MA 02201-2017

Overview

About the policy

Public health data guides all of the City’s decisions related to COVID-19. That data tells us that the best tools for protecting the health, safety and economic recovery of our community are widespread vaccinations and continuous testing for COVID-19. 

That’s why we’re requiring all City employees, onsite contractors, and volunteers to provide either proof of vaccination or produce a negative test result on a weekly recurring basis. 

WHO DOES THIS POLICY APPLY TO?
  • All full-time, part-time, seasonal, emergency, and probationary employees of the City of Boston
  • Onsite contractors
  • Volunteers who provide services onsite at City worksites
WHAT DO I NEED TO DO?

We have created a simple, secure online portal for you to enter your vaccination status.

COVID-19 compliance portal

The secure COVID Compliance Portal is where you will go to submit your:

  • vaccination documentation
  • proof of negative COVID-19 test results, or
  • to ask a COVID compliance question.

You may access the portal and upload your documents at any point before your deadline to comply.

If or when you are vaccinated:
  1. Access the portal
  2. enter your vaccination status, and
  3. upload a digital file of your vaccination card or other verification document. 
If you are not vaccinated:

You will be required to undergo weekly testing for COVID-19. Every seven (7) days, you will be upload documentation of your negative test result to our simple, secure online portal. 

WHEN WILL THIS BEGIN?

The online portal is live as of Monday, August 30, 2021. You can access the portal to enter your information and upload proof of vaccination or a negative test result at any time before the deadline to comply.

You must enter your information and upload your documentation by the dates identified in the phased approach listed below.

Sept. 20, 2021

Employees serving high-priority populations must comply by Monday, September 20, 2021. This includes (but is not limited to) the following departments:

  • Boston Public Schools
  • Boston Centers for Youth & Families
  • Boston Public Libraries
  • Age Strong
  • Commission on Disabilities
  • Others as notified

October 4, 2021

Employees who provide public-facing services to City residents must comply by Monday, October 4, 2021. This includes (but is not limited to) the following departments:

  • Public Safety
  • Parks
  • Inspectional Services
  • Registry
  • Parking Clerk
  • Onsite contractors and volunteers who work with departments serving high-priority populations (see grouping above)
  • Others as notified

October 18, 2021

All other City employees, onsite contractors, and volunteers must comply by Monday, October 18, 2021.

COVID-19 compliance topic areas

COVID-19 compliance topic areas
PREPARING IN ADVANCE

1. If you have been fully vaccinated, we recommend that you prepare to comply with this policy by taking the following steps in advance:

2. Locate your physical vaccination record. Upon receiving your vaccination, you should have received a card or other documentation from your healthcare provider that tells you:

  • what COVID-19 vaccine you received
  • the date you received each dose, and
  • where you received it.

The vaccination card is your official record that you were fully vaccinated.

Sample COVID-19 vaccine card

2. Create a digital file of your vaccination card. You may use any of these methods to do so:

  • Use your mobile device to take a clear picture of your card - ensuring that the photo is close and clear enough to read and that all of the information is legible.
  • Use your office scanner to scan and email yourself the scanned file
  • Visit your local library and use the publicly accessible computer and scanner
  • Use your personal computer and scanner at home
  • Download a scanner app to your mobile device

3. Store the digital file of your vaccination card where you can easily access it when you need to upload it to the portal. Here are some suggestions for storing your digital file so you can pull it up quickly when the time comes:

  • Email it to yourself with a subject line you can easily search for (like “My COVID-19 Vaccination Card 2021”)
  • Save it to your desktop or in a designated folder
  • Mark the photo as a “Favorite” in your mobile device’s camera roll
WHAT DO I DO IF I LOST MY VACCINATION CARD?

If you have lost your vaccination card, you should:

  • Scroll through the camera roll on your mobile device to see if you took a picture of your card when you received it. You may upload a clear, legible photo to the portal.
  • Contact the facility where you were vaccinated or your vaccination provider directly to access your vaccination records.
  • Access the CDC’s immunization information system (IIS) for the state where you received the vaccine, viewable at IIS information on the CDC website.
  • If you enrolled in v-safeVaxText, or other digital record storage applications, access your vaccination information using those tools.

Are you unable to get a copy of your COVID-19 vaccination card or other vaccination verification documentation? You may upload a signed statement from a medical provider verifying your fully vaccinated status.

All vaccination documentation must include:
  • Your name
  • Your birth date
  • The manufacturer of the vaccine
  • The date(s) on which the vaccine(s) were received
UPLOADING YOUR VACCINATION VERIFICATION DOCUMENTS TO THE PORTAL

1. Log in to Access Boston and click on the “COVID Compliance” tile 
If you have a question about your Access Boston account, check out these Access Boston FAQs. There is always a NEED HELP? link in the lower right hand corner of any page associated with Access Boston if you need more information. The DoIT Service Desk is also available at 617-635-7378.

2. On the COVID Compliance Portal’s homepage, you will see three buttons:

COVID-19 Vaccine Access Portal buttons

3. Click the “Submit Proof of Vaccination” button to open a new Vaccination Case Record:

COVID-19 Vaccine Portal new case record

  • Review your name, employee ID number, Department and email address, which will automatically populate. 
  • Select your Vaccine Manufacturer from the drop down menu. 
  • Enter the dates of your Vaccine Doses. If you’ve received your first of two doses, enter the date of your first dose only.
  • Attach proof of your vaccination documentation. You cannot submit a case without vaccination documentation attached. 
  • Check the box to affirm that the information is correct. 
  • Click Submit.
WEEKLY VACCINATION VERIFICATION LOTTERY

For a period of at least two months, the City will conduct a weekly lottery, the winner of which will be granted an extra one week of paid time off.

All benefit-eligible employees who verify their full vaccination status during the preceding week will be automatically entered into the lottery. The extra one week of time granted must be used by December 2022, and is not subject to any annual buy back, rollover, or severance. 

If you are unable or choose not to verify your fully vaccinated status, you will be required to submit proof of a negative COVID-19 screening test every seven (7) days by uploading a copy of your negative COVID-19 screening test results to the online portal. 

If you have received one dose of a two-dose vaccine series, you will also be required to submit proof of a negative COVID-19 screening test until your second dose is received. Upon receipt of a second required dose, you should return to the portal to verify your full vaccination status and upload your completed vaccine card or verification document. 

PREPARING IN ADVANCE

We recommend that you prepare to comply with this policy by taking the following steps in advance: 

1. Make a plan to get tested so you are able to receive your results before you are required to upload them to the portal. Check the map of COVID-19 testing facilities around the city and find a site that is accessible to you. 

2. Reach out to the provider before you go to get tested. Testing facilities have varying hours and policies regarding the availability of asymptomatic testing and insurance coverage. Check online or call ahead and ask the following questions: 

  • Do I need to have symptoms to get tested? 
  • Is testing free? 
  • Is it a walk-up or a drive-thru site? 
  • Do I need to make an appointment? 
  • How soon will I get my results?
  • How will I receive my results? 

3. When you receive your negative test result, save it as a digital file so you are ready to upload it to the portal. 

UPLOADING YOUR WEEKLY NEGATIVE TEST RESULT TO THE PORTAL
  • Review your name, employee ID number, Department and email address, which will automatically populate. 
  • Enter the date of your negative COVID test.
  • Attach proof of your negative test result. You cannot submit a case without  negative test documentation attached. 
  • Check the box to affirm that the information is correct.
  • Click Submit.

4. Congratulations! You did it. After a successful submission, you will be redirected to the COVID Compliance Portal homepage, where you can log out.
   
5. Watch for email notifications. You will receive two email notifications:

  • the first shortly after you submit your documentation, and
  • the second after your documentation is reviewed and approved (or rejected if something is missing). 

Once you receive an electronic verification that your documentation was received and accepted, you are all set until the next seven (7) day cycle begins. At that time, you will repeat the process.

If you receive a positive screening test result, you must report your positive status to the City, as required by the City policy titled Temporary Modifications to the City of Boston Attendance Policy and Return to Work Guidelines.

UPLOADING YOUR VACCINATION VERIFICATION DOCUMENTS TO THE PORTAL

Log in to Access Boston and click on the 'COVID Compliance' tile

If you have a question about your Access Boston account, check out the Access Boston help page. There is always a NEED HELP? link in the lower right hand corner of any page associated with Access Boston if you need more information. The DoIT Service Desk is also available at 617-635-7378.

Using your mobile device to access the portal and upload your documentation

The COVID Compliance Portal is optimized for mobile devices.  That means you can complete this process from your:

smartphones

tablets, or

other handheld devices. 

Taking a photo of your documents

When taking a photo of your documentation to upload to the portal using your mobile device, ensure:

  • the document is lying flat on an empty surface
  • the entire document is captured in the photo, and
  • the image is clear and readable.
Uploading your documents

When uploading your documentation to the portal using your mobile device:

  • click “Add Attachment” and open your camera roll, scroll to find the image, and
  • select the image and click "Add".
Using paper forms to submit your documentation 

If you must use paper forms to submit your vaccine verification or negative test result documentation, here’s how you can access the forms:

  1. Open the files linked below and print from your computer:
  2. Download and print the forms from the Hub.
    • Both forms will be posted to the COVID Compliance Guide on the Hub under printable forms and materials
  3. Visit your Departmental Human Resources representative in-person to obtain a copy of the form you need.
Filling out the paper forms

If you are submitting a vaccine verification form, we need this information: 

  • FULL NAME:
  • BIRTH DATE:
  • DEPARTMENT:
  • EMPLOYEE/SPONSOR ID:
  • EMAIL:
  • VACCINE MANUFACTURER:  
  • DATE OF 1st DOSE:
  • DATE OF 2nd DOSE:
  • SIGNATURE:
  • Attach a copy (not the original document) of your vaccine card or other COVID-19 vaccination documentation

If you are submitting a negative test result verification form, we need this information:

  • FULL NAME
  • BIRTH DATE
  • EMPLOYEE/SPONSOR ID
  • DEPARTMENT
  • EMAIL
  • DATE OF NEGATIVE TEST
  • SIGNATURE
  • Attach a copy (not the original document) of your negative screening test result
Submitting your Paper Forms

You will bring your printed form and a copy of your verification documentation (not the original document) to your Department's HR office.

Stay tuned for more information about the paper process. Your Department will be in touch to provide further details.

PAID LEAVE FOR VACCINATIONS AND TESTING

The City is offering benefit eligible employees up to one (1) hour of paid leave during a workday in order to get vaccinated or tested for COVID-19. 

You may access this leave as follows:

For COVID-19 vaccination:

For a two-dose vaccination, twice within a 40-day period, at time intervals recommended by the vaccination manufacturer, or health care provider to accommodate the recommended interval between vaccination doses. For a one-dose vaccination, once before expiration of this policy.

For COVID-19 testing:

Once within every seven (7) days, whether or not you’ve been vaccinated

All specifics of this paid leave benefit are documented in and governed by the terms set forth in the City of Boston policy titled:

GETTING VACCINATED

The COVID-19 vaccine is free and available to anyone age 12 and older who lives, studies or works in Massachusetts. 

The City's COVID-19 vaccination website is a useful, multilingual resource for vaccine sites, location maps and other information. The state also provides vaccination location information

You can also contact your healthcare provider or call 2-1-1 to seek appointments at medical providers, pharmacies, and other community locations.

GETTING TESTED

Testing will be offered by the City free of charge at various times and locations to allow for and encourage 100% compliance. You may also choose to get tested at a non-City testing facility. 

If you do not verify your fully vaccinated status or submit the required proof of a negative test, you will be placed on unpaid administrative leave until:

  • verification of full vaccination, or
  • a reasonable accommodation is approved if required by law. 

Rather than be placed on unpaid administrative leave, you may choose to use your own:

  • accrued vacation, or
  • personal or compensatory leave, not including sick time. 

Employees will remain in work status on days on which an employee gets tested and the day following the day the employee gets tested. This allows for a standard window of 48 hours for test processing. No more than the testing day plus one day after testing, for a total of two days, will be allowed for test processing, no matter how many days processing may actually take.

Here’s an example (for illustrative purposes only):

If Employee ABC gets tested on Monday, but does not receive and upload test results until Thursday, the employee would be in work status on Monday and Tuesday and on unpaid administrative leave on Wednesday and Thursday. Assuming the employee uploads a negative test result on Thursday when it is received, the employee would be back in work status on Friday.

Continued failure to verify vaccination status or submit to regular scheduled testing will be grounds for discipline up to and including termination. Employees with civil service protections will have a hearing with the Office of Labor Relations and their union, scheduled within five (5) days of being placed on unpaid administrative leave.

REASONABLE ACCOMMODATIONS

If you are in need of a reasonable accommodation due to a medical reason or because of a sincerely held religious belief, you must complete and submit the appropriate documentation to the Office of Human Resources (OHR):

For medical accommodations, the certification:

  • must be signed by a health care provider, and
  • must certify that the employee is under the provider’s medical care and should be exempt from receiving the COVID-19 vaccination due to medical contraindications.  

Please note: A vaccination waiver granted for medical reasons does not exempt the employee from the requirement of regular testing.   

For religious accommodations, the certification must be:

  • signed by the employee and/or the employee’s religious or spiritual leader 
  • expressly certify that political, social, scientific, or other non-religious views are not sufficient justification for a religious exemption under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 [42 U.S.C. § 2000e-2(a)(1), (2)], and
  • include the employee’s explanation of their religious or religious-type beliefs and why those beliefs prevent vaccination or testing, or both. 

You can find the accommodation forms on this page in the "Printable Resources and Forms" section. Please note: Unless and until a requested accommodation is approved in writing, you are still required to comply with the requirements of the Vaccination Verification or Regular Testing policy.

Common questions

I am currently on leave status. Will this policy apply to me when I return?

Yes. The policy applies to:

  • all current workers
  • those returning from leave status, and
  • those hired in the future.

You must verify your full vaccination status or submit to required testing before the date you are scheduled to return from leave status.

I've never been diagnosed with COVID-19. Do I still need to get vaccinated or submit to weekly testing?

Yes. The policy applies regardless of whether you’ve been diagnosed with COVID-19 in the past.

I am choosing not to be vaccinated for personal reasons. Can I be granted an exemption from this policy?

No. If you choose not to be vaccinated for personal reasons, you are still required to comply with this policy by:

  • submitting to weekly COVID-19 screening tests, and
  • uploading your negative test result to the online portal.

If you meet the legal requirements for a reasonable accommodation (see above), you can request such from Human Resources. Further instructions on how to do that will be posted soon.

Will my medical information be kept private?

Yes. Your documents will be uploaded to a secure online portal. Individually identifiable health information will be maintained in a confidential manner, as required by applicable law.

What happens after I get my weekly test and I'm waiting to receive my results?

You will remain in work status on the day you get tested and the day following the day you get tested. This allows for a standard window of 48 hours for test processing.  

No more than the testing day plus one day after testing, for a total of two days, will be allowed for test processing no matter how many days processing may actually take. Please keep this in mind when you decide when and where to get tested, and feel free to ask testing facilities how long it takes to receive test results.

Back to top