Governor Charlie Baker told GBH News he’s looking at requiring state workers to be vaccinated for COVID-19 after previously saying he wouldn’t. This comes amid growing numbers of delta variant COVID cases in the state.

“There are some folks who are literally going with a hard mandate and saying 'We expect everybody to get vaccinated by a certain date. And if you don't, we'll have to work through what the consequences of that will be,'” Baker said Wednesday on Boston Public Radio. "And that is something we are seriously considering.” He didn’t elaborate but said more details are forthcoming.

Host Jim Braude reminded Baker that in May, he had told listeners that he would not mandate a vaccine for state or public facing employees.

Baker now said “there are many flavors to this, many people call it a mandate, but it’s actually not a mandate,” adding that that other elected officials aren’t mandating vaccines, but are instead telling employees that if they don’t get the shot, they have to be tested once a week.

Acting Mayor Kim Janey recently announced that requirement for Boston city workers, and Baker said it’s one of the policies he’s interested in.

State Attorney General Maura Healey has slammed Baker for not requiring vaccines for public facing employees.

“Look, you’re there, you’re getting paid by the taxpayer — you have an obligation, whether it’s delivering public health or public safety,” Healey said in April during an appearance on Boston Public Radio. “You’re interacting with the public. That’s a part of your job, by definition.”

Healey mandated vaccines for her own employees in an announcement a few weeks ago.

Baker also defended the way Department of Corrections officers handled altercations with prisoners during a lockdown in 2020 at the state’s maximum-security prison, Souza Baranowski Correctional Center. Baker told GBH News that the officers’ lives were in danger.

“The Lieutenant Governor and I both paid a visit to those correctional officers. And honestly, they're lucky to be alive,” he said. “And I don't think that should get lost at all. That they were brutally and viciously attacked. And the only reason that no one did die was because one of them was a very big guy who took the brunt of the assault.”

The department and its officers have been criticized by prisoner advocates and lawmakers for the force used during the weeks-long lockdown last year.

According to Prisoners Legal Services, incarcerated men lodged 118 allegations of excessive force by officers between Jan 10 and March 1, 2020.