VIRGINIA, USA — State workers in Virginia will be required to show proof that they are fully vaccinated or be tested for COVID-19 every week, starting Sept.1.
According to a press release from Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam, the policy will impact the 122,000 employees that work for the state.
Northam's office said nearly 73% of adults in Virginia have received the first shot and 54% 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,” Northam said. “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.”
The decision comes as the highly transmissible Delta variant continues to drive up cases across the country, mostly among the unvaccinated.
The CDC has released an interactive map that helps track and display levels of transmission for COVID-19. The tracker is updated daily at 8 p.m. and searchable down to the county level.
Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan also announced that proof of vaccination would be required for state employees at certain facilities, including all health departments, starting September 1. Those who fail to show proof of COVID-19 vaccination would be required to submit to weekly COVID testing and wearing PPE.
If you are living in Virginia and have not been vaccinated, visit virginia.gov or call 877-VAX-IN-VA to find a vaccination clinic near you. For more information, visit the Virginia website.
Officials in Fairfax County continue to urge people to get vaccinated as the level of COVID-19 community transmission reached "substantial" per the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).