WATCH: Governor says state workers must be vaccinated or tested
RICHMOND, Va. (WDBJ/Governor’s Office Release) Governor Ralph Northam announced Thursday Virginia will require its state workers to show proof that they are fully vaccinated or be tested for COVID-19 every week. The policy will impact about 122,000 employees and will go into effect September 1.
The move comes as the highly-transmissible Delta variant is driving up cases across the Commonwealth and around the country, primarily among unvaccinated people, according to Northam. Nearly 73 percent of Virginia adults have had their first shots, and 54 percent of all Virginians are fully vaccinated against the virus.
“The only way to end this pandemic is to for everyone to get vaccinated against COVID-19,” said Governor Northam. “As head of state government, we have a responsibility to lead by example and ensure the safety of our employees and the people they serve. The three vaccines are safe, effective, free and widely available, and I strongly urge every eligible Virginian to get their shot. The time for waiting is over.”
Last week, President Joe Biden announced a similar vaccination requirement for federal workers.
The full text of Virginia Executive Directive Eighteen can be found here.
“Our valued state employees are dedicated to public service, and I am confident they want to do what is necessary to keep themselves, their co-workers, and the public safe,” said Secretary of Administration Grindly Johnson, who oversees the Department of Human Resource Management.
Virginians who have not been vaccinated are encouraged to go to vaccinate.virginia.gov or call 877-VAX-IN-VA (877-829-4682, TTY users call 7-1-1) to find a nearby vaccination clinic. For answers to frequently asked questions or to learn more about vaccination for COVID-19 in Virginia, visit vdh.virginia.gov/covid-19-vaccine.
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