Virginia will require its state workers to show proof that they are fully vaccinated or be tested for COVID-19 every week. This policy will impact approximately 122,000 employees and will go into effect on September 1, according to an announcement by Gov. Ralph Northam.
The announcement came as the highly transmissible Delta variant is driving up cases across the Commonwealth and around the country, primarily among unvaccinated people. Nearly 73 percent of Virginia adults have had their first shot, and 54 percent of all Virginians are fully vaccinated against the virus, which is higher than most states.
“The only way to end this pandemic is to for everyone to get vaccinated against COVID-19,” said 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 vaccination requirement for federal workers and Northam’s executive directive is consistent with this policy.
“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.