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JUST IN: Fairfax County announces COVID-19 vaccine mandate for government workers

All Fairfax County government workers will be required to get vaccinated against COVID-19, the county announced today (Friday).

Employees who don’t get vaccinated, including those who request an exemption for medical or religious reasons, will be required to undergo weekly COVID-19 testing to remain employed.

The timing of when the mandate will take effect remains unclear, as the announcement says only that it will begin this fall.

“We know vaccinations save lives and that these vaccines are safe and effective,” Board of Supervisors Chairman Jeff McKay said in a statement. “Throughout the pandemic we have focused on measures to keep our employees and our community safe, and this is another key piece of that effort. As one of the largest employers in Virginia, and one that has successfully and consistently stressed to our residents the importance of being vaccinated, we must practice what we preach.”

The Board of Supervisors voted unanimously on July 28 to direct County Executive Bryan Hill to explore the possibility of a vaccine requirement while developing an official return-to-office plan for the county government.

Fairfax County Public Schools announced this morning that it will require employees to get vaccinated, starting in October, though the new school year will begin on Monday (Aug. 23).

“We join organizations including Fairfax County Public Schools, public universities, privately held companies, and our federal and local governments, taking these measures to help protect employees and the public from this significant health threat,” Hill said in a statement. “Since the beginning of the pandemic, Fairfax County has focused on policies and procedures that support the health and well-being of our staff and the community, and we will continue to do so.”

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