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NEW: Arlington County Considering Vaccine Mandate for Employees

Following the lead of the state and the federal government, Arlington County is considering a mandate for its employees and contractors to be vaccinated.

Last week President Biden announced that federal employees must either sign forms attesting to be vaccinated or submit to mandatory masking, weekly testing and distancing. Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam announced a similar policy for more than 100,000 state employees yesterday.

Now Arlington — like neighboring Fairfax County — is also considering a vaccine mandate, amid a continued rise in local Covid cases fueled by the delta variant of the virus. The proposal was revealed to county employees during an online town hall with County Manager Mark Schwartz, we’re told.

“During an online employee town hall the county manager informed staff it is his intention to require vaccination or submit to weekly testing,” a tipster tells ARLnow.

In a statement, below, Arlington County confirmed that such a policy is indeed under consideration. A final decision is expected later this month.

“The health and wellbeing of our residents and our employees is our top priority. Arlington County has offered vaccines to all employees, and continues to follow Virginia Department of Health guidance regarding vaccination. The County continues to assess its COVID-19 policies and practices as new guidance emerges from Centers for Disease Control and Virginia Department of Health. The County Manager has asked staff to prepare, for review, a program that would mandate vaccination and testing for County employees and contractors. A final decision on whether to pursue such a program will be made during August. In the meantime, we encourage Arlington employees and residents to access no-cost, no-appointment testing and vaccination opportunities.”

Photo by Navy Petty Officer 1st Class Carlos M. Vazquez II

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