The City of Bethel – a village of 6,200 residents – has implemented a policy that bans hiring any new employees who have declined to take the COVID shots.

Effective Aug. 10, the city stated that “all applicants for hire must be vaccinated against COVID-19 and its variants and show proof of vaccination prior to being considered for hire.”

The city website adds that any exemptions to the policy will be evaluated on a “case-by-case basis.”

The vaccination mandate applies to all city departments which includes police, fire, public works, planning, finance, human resources, port and IT. The city employs about 105 full-time employees.

Additionally, the city approved a policy earlier this month that requires all existing employees, volunteers and contractors to show proof of vaccination status. Those who fail to do so are required to submit to weekly COVID tests, physically distance themselves from all other people and continually wear a mask. Additionally, every employee, regardless of vaccination status, must wear masks indoors when they are within six feet of any other person. Any employee refusing to abide by the policy faces disciplinary action.

For the general public, Bethel requires masking in most indoor settings, while riding public transportation and when standing in line outside. Only limited exemptions are permitted.

Bethel has one of the highest rates of vaccination in the state with more than 56% of eligible residents now deemed fully vaccinated. Despite these numbers, the area continues to experience one of highest rates of infection in the state. As of Aug. 23, the state reports that 16 Bethel residents have contracted COVID within the past three days. That’s more than five times the number of people who have contracted COVID in the Mat-Su over the same period. Unlike Bethel, however, the much larger Mat-Su area has no mask mandates, and the percentage of fully vaccinated residents is less than 38%.


  • Click here to contact the Bethel City Council members.
  • Click here to contact the Bethel City manager.
  • Click here for information on how to submit a vaccine exemption form.

Click here to support the Alaska Watchman.

Bethel refuses to hire city employees who are among the unvaxed

Joel Davidson
Joel is Editor-in-Chief of the Alaska Watchman. Joel is an award winning journalist and has been reporting for over 24 years, He is a proud father of 8 children, and lives in Palmer, Alaska.


  • Michael S Totten says:

    Good for you BETHEL i will just go harvest magic shrooms and sell them to your vaxxed idiots because aparantly they will take just about anything people give them. Keep pushing the liberal agenda and watch the black market thrive.

  • NAV says:

    Everyone from the city stop working and watch the tone of the city flip sides immediately!!!

  • Timothy Colbath says:

    This is another prime example of “Ignoring science” by the denial of Natural Immunity.

  • Jen says:

    Major change is change one word replacing village to a town of 6,200. The people of Rural Alaska need to start seeing themselves as what they are Americans. Village sounds too primitive and indigenous as a group sovereign dependent upon itself, when these Alaskan small towns recieve its sustenance through the American government.

  • NorthernMegaWood says:

    Nothing like being coerced into signing your own death warrant. Good luck, I hope it all works out for you.

  • G Aleution says:

    Why don’t people in Bethel love the US Constitution and being secure in their person? Why are the rights of free men tossed out the window?

  • Andy says:

    Both vax and unvax have similarities: both can catch and spread wuhan flu, both could die, only the vaxxed will face the uncertainty of a long term vaccine and booster problem. No job requiring the vax is worth it.

  • Ralph says:

    Shame on those who think they can use coercion to achieve their Socialist agenda.

    • Bob says:

      They wouldn’t do it if it weren’t working. That town is run by the Yukon Kuskokwim Health Corporation (YKHC) who “advise” the Native leadership to “exercise their sovereign authority” by doing what they are told to do by YKHC, which has consequently benefited hugely and continues to do so from the COVID scare.

  • NorthernMegaWood says:…our-wr-time-general-everything-has-meaning-pray.html

    Take some time and watch this all the way thru. Pay attention. Maybe you folks will wake up before its to late for you good people. I hope so. Don’t be “Woke” be “Awake” and live on. NUFF SAID.

  • Mongo Love Candy says:

    A short list of employers who don’t require a Covid Death ClotShot:
    CDC, Whitehouse, Pfizer, WHO, Moderna, Johnson & Johnson and FDA.

  • Proud Alaskan says:

    More madness
    Bethel has always been the arm pit of Alaska

  • Neil A DeWitt says:

    Sound like Bethel should reevaluate their decision. It’s obvious the vaccinated are the carriers of the disease and they are spreading it around their own people. If they are 56% vaccinated then you can’t tell me the other 44% are the problem or they are the ones that would have the covid flu. Step back people of Bethel and see the big picture!

    Alaska take a good look at your flaud decisions of the vaccination. Here’s your petri dish.

    • Evan S Singh says:

      If you used the scientific method properly, you wouldn’t come to that conclusion.

  • Dr. Greg Moody says:

    Sounds like discrimination. Wonder if there will be a lawsuit? It is reasonable that private businesses should be able to dictate their own policies, but will local government be given that same laxity and responsibility?