COVID-19 (Coronavirus) Updates & Resources for City Employees

As Durham, the state of North Carolina, and our entire country face the unknowns of COVID-19, the City’s top priority is to maintain essential services for our community while protecting the health and safety of our residents and employees.

This page will continue to serve as a resource for City of Durham employees during the COVID-19 pandemic, providing guidance for both on-site and remote work.

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LATEST STATUS Updates for Employees



Alongside several other vaccine incentives for City of Durham employees, City employees who verify that they are fully vaccinated by October 10 will now be eligible for a $250 bonus.

Reporting Requirement

At the recent request of City Council, the City is now in the process of evaluating both a mandatory testing and a mandatory vaccination program for unvaccinated employees. Though the details of the program are currently under deliberation (this includes the deadline for reporting vaccination status, which was previously set for October 10), all City employees will eventually need to report their status as fully vaccinated or be subject to the requirements of the mandatory testing or vaccination program. If you are fully vaccinated and have not yet submitted a copy of your completed vaccine card to HR, please do so by filling out this form.

Mandatory Testing Requirement

At the recent request of City Council, City administration is now evaluating a mandatory testing program option that would require unvaccinated employees to pay for testing out of their own pockets.

Vaccine Requirement

At this time, the COVID vaccine is not mandatory for any City employee. However, at the recent request of City Council, a vaccine mandate is now under consideration by City administration.


All City employees are now eligible for the COVID-19 vaccine.

Following COVID-19 Policies & Guidance

Employees should continue following all policies and guidance detailed on this page, regardless of their vaccination status.

COVID-19 Policies & Guidance

Indoor Mask Use

Under Durham's indoor mask requirement, ALL City of Durham employees and visitors are now required to wear masks indoors until further notice. 

All Policies & Guidance

In addition to the new indoor mask use guidance indicated above, employees should continue following all other policies and guidance detailed on this page.

Employee Work Status

On-Site Service Levels

Employees should be advised that service levels at City Hall and other public facilities have not been impacted by Durham City Council's decision to transition back to all-virtual meetings. City Hall will remain open Monday - Friday from 8 a.m. - 5 p.m. Details about operating hours for other City facilities/services can be found on the City of Durham Service Updates & COVID-19 Guidelines web page.

Flexible Work

The City will roll out an official flexible work policy later this year. In the meantime, departments are encouraged to support flexible work options for their employees whenever possible.

Changes to Work Status

As a rule, any employee whose work location is expected to materially change will be provided at least 30 days notice whenever possible. Some exceptions may apply. If you have questions about your work status, please consult with your supervisor.

This Week in Positive COVID-19 Cases & Quarantines at City of Durham

Click on a chart to view the full-size version.

281 total positive COVID-19 cases at the City since March 2020 as of September 20, 2021
11 new positive COVID-19 cases at the City in September as of September 20, 2021.
Number of quarantined City employees at the beginning of each week. 11 for week of September 20
66% of City of Durham employees are confirmed and verified as fully vaccinated as of September 20.

City Employees & the COVID-19 Vaccine

Overview of Vaccine Incentive & Mandatory Testing Program for City Employees

Effective Monday, August 23, the City of Durham has joined Durham County, the City of Raleigh, and other Triangle-area cities and counties in implementing a new vaccine incentive program. 

In addition to the existing incentives for fully-vaccinated City of Durham employees, City employees who are able to verify that they are fully vaccinated will now be eligible for a one-time cash bonus. Now through October 10, any employee who has verified their status as fully vaccinated will be eligible for a $250 bonus. 

SEPTEMBER 9 UPDATE: On September 9, City Council postponed its decision to move forward with a City-funded mandatory testing program for unvaccinated employees. HR and City administration are now evaluating the option of either: A) Weekly testing program paid for solely by the employees participating in the program (i.e. unvaccinated employees), or B) Mandatory vaccinations, with no testing alternative.

Additional details on this decision are coming soon. In the meantime, please visit the FAQs below.

COVID-19 Vaccine Employee FAQs

COVID-19 Vaccine Resources


Now that the City has resumed all in-person services, it's important that on-site employees feel safe and understand what is expected of them in this new work environment.

Overview of Guidance for On-Site Employees

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Masks/Face Coverings
ALL employees are now required to wear a mask while working indoors unless they are alone in a closed office. Employees do not have to wear a mask while working outdoors. Read more about guidance for mask use (PDF).

Graphic of person lying in bed sick

Employees should stay at home if they are feeling ill, even with symptoms unrelated to COVID-19. Read more about our temporary employee wellness policy (PDF).

Cleaning of Personal & Shared Workspaces
The General Services Department will continue to thoroughly clean and disinfect common areas and surfaces, but employees are responsible for cleaning and disinfecting their personal work areas and equipment. Read more about employee cleaning protocols (PDF).

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Sharing Vehicles 
ALL employees must now wear a mask at ALL times while in a City vehicle with one or more passengers. Read more about guidelines for sharing a vehicle (PDF).

View a comprehensive overview of all workplace protocols for on-site employees (PDF). Failure to follow these protocols could result in disciplinary action under the revised Safety Program policy (PDF).

Working On-Site FAQs

  1. Cleaning & Air Quality
  3. Recreational Classes & Facilities
  4. Supplies

If you are returning to in-person work, we recognize that you may have questions about what the City is doing to keep employees and visitors safe during COVID-19. When it comes to creating a safe and healthy working environment, our General Services team has the answers.

Read General Services' answers to your FAQs about cleaning protocols, air quality, and more (PDF).

COMPLETE Policies & Guidance for City of Durham Employees

Please click through the following tabs to review the City of Durham’s official COVID-19 policies and guidance for employees:

  1. HUMAN Resources
  3. purchasing
  4. Technology Solutions


Temporary Employee Wellness (PDF)

Temporary Leave & School Closures (PDF)

Overview of Leave Options:

All employees hired before May 1, 2020 have been granted 5 weeks of COVID leave. Relaxed sick leave is an additional option for eligible employees managing certain COVID-19 related issues. Otherwise, normal leave request procedures should be followed at this time. Read more about leave policies (PDF).

COVID Leave table with timeline version 2

Midday Moment Presentations: 

11/4 Midday Moment: Download all slides from the 'COVID-19: City of Durham Data & Workplace Protocols' presentation (PDF).

8/26 Midday Moment: Download all slides from the 'Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA) & Temporary Shared Leave Donations for School Closures Policy' presentation (PDF).

7/22 Midday Moment: Download all slides from the 'Virtual Learning, Modified Schedules, Daycare Closures & the City of Durham Workforce' presentation (PDF).

Temporary HR Policy Timeline

Current Policies

Policy Name
Effective Date
Last Updated
Expiration Date
March 13, 2020
March 25, 2021
In effect until further notice
Temporary Leave & School Closures (PDF) (NEW VERSION) August 24, 2020 March 25, 2021 In effect until further notice

Expired Policies

Policy Name
Effective Date
Last Updated
Expiration Date
Temporary Leave & School Closures (PREVIOUS VERSION)
March 30, 2020 May 31, 2020 May 31, 2020
Temporary Premium Pay March 30, 2020 June 19, 2020 June 19, 2020
Temporary Personal Travel March 13, 2020 June 30, 2020 June 30, 2020
Temporary Business Travel
March 13, 2020
September 30, 2020
September 30, 2020
FFCRA Emergency Sick & FMLA Leave
April 1, 2020
December 31, 2020
December 31, 2020
Temporary Shared Leave Donations for School Closures
August 24, 2020
June 30, 2021
June 30, 2021
Temporary Severe Weather
November 23, 2020
June 30, 2021
June 30, 2021

Communication With Employees

The City uses a variety of methods to communicate with employees, but this page and the channels below will be the primary means of communication during the COVID-19 pandemic:

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City Week

City Week, our weekly employee newsletter, is your best source for reliable, up-to-date communication from the City during COVID-19.

All City of Durham employees are signed up to receive City Week each Monday to their email address. If you are not receiving City Week to your email and would like to, please email Hannah Watts.

You can also sign up to receive City Week by text alert.

Public Affairs Priority Alerts graphic


PAPA (Public Affairs Priority Alerts) is the City’s emergency notification system used to provide time-sensitive information and emergency updates to employees, including those related to COVID-19 and its impact on City employees. You can expect to receive PAPA alerts via email, phone, and/or text depending on your personal settings.

To learn more about PAPA view the PAPA How-to Guide (PDF), including how to update your contact information on page 7.

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Human Resources

Visit Human Resources’ homepage for HR Connect hours, additional HR resources, and more.