Capitol Buzz
January 26, 2021 (Corrected Version)
DHS Finalizes List of Persons Eligible for Vaccine in next Phase; Includes Utility Workers

Earlier today, the Wisconsin Department of Health Services announced the final list of persons eligible for the COVID-19 vaccine under phase 1b beginning on or near March 1, depending on vaccine availability.

The list of individuals includes the following municipal workers:

911 operators
Utility and communications infrastructure: Workers who cannot socially distance and are responsible for the fundamental processes and facilities that ensure electric, natural gas, steam, water, wastewater, internet, and telecommunications services are built, maintained, generated, distributed, and delivered to customers.
Public transit: Drivers or employees (supervisor or maintenance person who rides the bus, or a public-facing service agent) who have frequent close contact with members of the public, limited to:
---Public and commercial intercity bus transportation services.
---Municipal public transit services, including municipal or county contracted shared-ride service providers.
---Those employed by specialized transit and paratransit services for seniors, disabled persons, and low-income persons. 

The League had asked DHS to include water and sewer utility operators in the list of people eligible for the vaccine under phase 1b. We are pleased to see the department added them to the list.

We had also asked for clerks and other election workers, as well as public works staff responsible for keeping public streets open to be included in phase 1b, but DHS did not included them. We will advocate for including these groups of public employees in phase 1c.