Arlington County Government and Arlington Public Schools (APS) will implement a COVID-19 vaccination mandate for employees. This joint action, effective August 30, is a necessary step to help keep the community safe and is consistent with COVID-19 public health guidance. This policy will also apply to interns, volunteers, substitutes, and contractors.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the Virginia Department of Health (VDH), and the Arlington County Public Health Division, COVID-19 continues to pose a risk, especially to individuals who are not fully vaccinated. Therefore, certain safety measures remain necessary to prevent the spread of COVID-19 and protect our community. Vaccination continues to be the most effective way to significantly reduce the risk of serious illness, hospitalization and death, even with the Delta variant. This is part of a layered approach to keeping the community, as well as children under the age of 12, safe.
“Arlington County is requiring vaccinations for its employees because it’s the best way to keep people safe, especially as the region sees an increasing trend of COVID-19 cases,” said County Manager Mark Schwartz. “Our top priority continues to be the health and well-being of our employees, residents and community. When anyone visits a County Government facility, they deserve to know that we have done everything in our power to protect them from COVID-19.”
Serving Our Community
Arlington County and APS have offered vaccines to all employees and continue to follow Virginia Department of Health guidance regarding vaccination. APS is committed to ensuring that Arlington schools open safely and remain open for student learning; and Arlington County has an obligation to ensure continuity of government and government services. This includes providing critical services for the social, emotional, physical, and mental wellbeing of the community. Reductions in critical government and educational services can have dramatic impacts on the health and wellbeing of our community.
“Our priority is to protect the health and well-being of our students and staff as we open schools on August 30. We are taking a layered approach to protect our community and to ensure our schools remain open and safe for student learning,” stated APS Superintendent Dr. Francisco Durán. “Mandatory staff vaccinations and our universal mask requirement are two of the most effective ways to prevent the spread of COVID-19 and are vital ways we are working to keep our schools open and safe for all.”
Required Testing for Unvaccinated Employees
Unvaccinated individuals are at a greater risk of contracting and spreading COVID-19 within the workplace and to the public that depends on vital County services. County and APS employees will be required to submit vaccine documentation to their respective agencies.
All unvaccinated employees will be required to be tested at least weekly for COVID-19 to limit the potential spread in the workforce and in the community. Testing will be provided at no cost to the employee.
Arlington’s overall vaccination rate for those 12 and older is 71.5%. Arlington encourages eligible residents to access no-cost, no-appointment vaccination and testing opportunities. More information is available at arlingtonva.us/COVID-19.