Virginia, Maryland Require State Government Workers to Get Vaccinated
WASHINGTON (Sputnik) - Government employees in the US states of Virginia and Maryland will now be required to receive coronavirus vaccines or be subject to regular testing, governors Ralph Northam and Larry Hogan announced separately on Thursday.
"Effective September 1, employees in 48 state facilities will be required to show proof of vaccination, or adhere to strict face covering requirements and submit to regular, ongoing COVID-19 testing," the office of Maryland Governor Hogan said.
Virginia Governor Northam likewise said his state’s 122,000 government employees will be required to "show proof that they are fully vaccinated or be tested for COVID-19 every week."
Both governors cited concerns over the rising number of cases caused by the coronavirus Delta variant, which Hogan said accounts for "nearly 100 percent" of new cases reported in Maryland. Northam echoed the concern, saying the variant is driving up cases across Virginia too.
Maryland’s protocols will only apply to state employees working in "congregate settings" such as those working for the state Health Department, Department of Juvenile Services, and Corrections and Department of Veterans Affairs.
The affected Maryland state employees will need to receive their first vaccine dose by September 1, Hogan’s office said, adding that anyone attempting to provide false proof of vaccination will be subject to disciplinary action.