Commercial real estate company Camden demands COVID vaccines for its employees

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Camden, a Houston-based apartment owner and operator across the country, is demanding that all of his employees be vaccinated against COVID-19 as the delta variant continues to spread.

“We want to do the right thing,” said CEO Ric Campo. “It’s about creating a safe workplace.”

The company told employees on Tuesday that all team members will need to be fully immunized by October 11.

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“We have just decided to take a stand as a company and hope other companies will do the same,” Campo said. “The only way to control this pandemic and stop the fourth, fifth, or even sixth wave is to draw a line in the sand and say that you have a choice of getting the vaccine or that you have to go to work somewhere else. “

Camden employs 1,700 people, including 500 in Houston, at its corporate headquarters and 170 apartment communities.

The move follows similar mandates from companies across the country, including United Airlines, Google and local companies Houston Methodist and ZT Corporate.

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Camden, which has more than 59,000 apartments in Texas, Florida, California and other states, has seen an increase in COVID cases among its employees this summer. He made changes throughout the pandemic in an effort to keep employees and residents of his apartments safe.

Since the start of the pandemic, staff in the apartments were considered essential and remained on site. Demands grew on them as more people worked from home and procedures were put in place, such as the requirement to meet at the rental desk, social distancing and wearing masks. , Campo said.

The company encouraged employees to get vaccinated and spread the facts to fight misinformation on social media. Campo encourages employees who have concerns to speak to their doctor.

Human resources will accommodate exceptions related to religion and disability, said Julie Keel, vice president of marketing at Camden. Exempt employees must wear a mask, perform weekly tests, and reapply for the exemption every 90 days.

The employees of the offices of the company Greenway Plaza work either in the office or remotely. Camden was the # 1 Houston Chronicle Best Workplace winner among Large Employers in 2020. The publicly traded company ranked 8th out of Fortune’s 100 Best Workplaces.

The guidance comes as the positive test rate for COVID-19 in Texas reached 17.9% as of August 16, down from 10.4% a month earlier, according to the Texas Department of State Health Services.

In Texas, 54.6 of residents have been fully immunized, according to the state health department. Experts say more than 75 percent of the population should be vaccinated to gain herd immunity.

While employee feedback was mostly positive, Campo acknowledged that there could be some setback.

“I don’t think there would be a lot of people who would decide to take the other option and work elsewhere,” Campo said.


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