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Posted on: August 12, 2021

Joint Message of Weekly COVID Testing for Municipal Employees

A Message from
Hampton City Manager Mary Bunting
Newport News City Manager Cindy Rohlf
Norfolk City Manager Larry “Chip” Filer
Portsmouth City Manager Angel Jones
Suffolk City Manager Albert Moor II
Williamsburg City Manager Andrew O. Trivette

We are at a critical point in the fight against the coronavirus. The Delta variant is causing the number of COVID cases in the Hampton Roads region and across the nation to spike. As a community, we have the obligation to take additional steps to curtail the spread and, most importantly, save lives.

The cities of Hampton, Newport News, Norfolk, Portsmouth, Suffolk and Williamsburg are joining together to implement weekly testing of all municipal employees unless they are fully vaccinated.
We believe this additional precaution will improve our ability to meet three key goals: keeping our employees and their families healthier; maintaining our ability to serve our residents, especially with critical public safety services; and reducing community spread of COVID-19.

We have set as a goal to implement this policy by Oct. 1. Announcing this measure now allows those employees who opt to become fully vaccinated to do so before the testing is implemented. By working together as a region, we can make more progress in slowing the spread of this disease than any one of us can as an individual locality.

The Virginia Department of Health says the COVID vaccines are safe, effective, free and readily available. Health experts encourage every resident age 12 and older to get fully vaccinated. More than 98% of the cases, hospitalizations, and deaths in the Eastern Region have occurred in people who are not fully vaccinated; breakthrough cases account for less than 1% of the region's COVID cases. Visit vaccinefinder.org for a list of clinics and pharmacies that are offering the vaccine.

Testing procedures and program details will vary among the localities.

Contacts:

City of Hampton: Robin McCormick 757-728-3276
City of Newport News: Sarah Bowman 757-846-7594
City of Norfolk: Lori Crouch 757-664-4067
City of Portsmouth: Dana Woodson 757-393-5143
City of Suffolk: Diana Klink 757-514-4104
City of Williamsburg: Nicole Trifone 757-220-6197

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