Richmond mandates vaccinations for city employees
City is first Va. locality to require COVID shots
Richmond Mayor Levar Stoney announced Wednesday that all city employees will be required to be vaccinated against COVID-19, becoming the first Virginia locality to mandate vaccination.
Fairfax County has taken steps in recent weeks toward a vaccination mandate for its 12,000 employees, but the county executive must make the final decision. Gov. Ralph Northam has not made an announcement about state employees being required to be vaccinated, but President Joe Biden has announced a mandate for federal employees. Many universities and colleges as well as individual companies and workplaces have instituted vaccination requirements, and the issue has gained urgency in recent weeks as the Delta variant of COVID has led to higher infection, hospitalization and death rates among the unvaccinated.
Richmond city employees, including those who telework, must be fully vaccinated by Oct. 1, according to the mayor’s office, and they will be asked to prove their vaccination status through the Virginia Department of Health. Medical and religious exemptions are allowed, but religious exemptions must be notarized and medical exemptions must be signed by a licensed medical provider. Anyone who does not comply will be subject to disciplinary action in accordance with city Department of Human Resources guidelines.
“We take this step not only to ensure the health and safety of our employees and their families, but also to safeguard the comfort and well-being of residents, customers, visitors and the public at large,” said Mayor Stoney. “The vaccine is our greatest tool to save lives and truly beat this pandemic.”