Following Gov. Ralph Northam’s request, Albemarle County will now require local government employees to submit proof of full COVID-19 vaccination or a weekly negative COVID-19 test.
The policy, effective Sept. 15, differs from what the county said last week. The prior policy was that the county “strongly recommends” the immunization of those eligible to receive the vaccine.
Northam announced last week that most state employees will be required to show proof of vaccination starting Sept. 1.
In a statement, County Executive Jeff Richardson said that as a local government, the county has "a dual responsibility of protecting our workforce and the community we serve."
"With data on the transmissibility of the delta variant, we feel the best way to ensure we maintain government services is to require our staff to either become vaccinated or undergo weekly COVID-19 testing," he said.
This requirement applies to all full-time, part-time, temporary and contract employees of the Albemarle County government, regardless of work location, according to the release.
The mandate does not apply to Albemarle County Public Schools employees.
Richmond Mayor Levar Stoney announced last week that city employees there are required to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 by Oct. 1.
Albemarle has one of the highest vaccination rates in the state, with 63.4% of the eligible population fully vaccinated as of Wednesday, according to a state dashboard.
About 57% of vaccine-eligible residents in the Blue Ridge Health District — which covers Albemarle, Greene, Fluvanna, Louisa and Nelson counties and Charlottesville — are fully vaccinated.