HAMPTON ROADS, Va. - Hampton Roads cities are coming together in an effort to provide COVID-19 testing for all non-vaccinated employees.
In a joint statement, the cities of Norfolk, Newport News, Hampton, Portsmouth, Suffolk and Williamsburg said they are at a critical point in the fight against the coronavirus, adding "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 will implement weekly testing of all municipal employees unless they are fully vaccinated. In the statement officials said, "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."
Their goal is to implement this policy by October 1. Officials said announcing the measure 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 statement said.
Testing procedures and program details will vary among the localities.