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Executive Directive Number Eighteen (2021)
Ensuring a Safe Work Place
Importance of the Initiative
For the past 16 months, the COVID-19 pandemic has disrupted all of our lives. The Commonwealth implemented policies over this time to protect state workers, including expanding telework policies, masking, and social distancing measures. While these measures have proven effective, vaccination is the only method to protect fully against the virus.
Vaccinations are now widely available and easily accessible, and Virginia’s vaccination rates are outpacing most other states. More than 73 percent of Virginia adults have received at least one shot, and 54 percent of all Virginians are fully vaccinated against the virus. Because the vaccines are safe and effective, unvaccinated Virginians account for nearly everyone who is now being hospitalized or dying from COVID-19. But the urgency to expand vaccinations further is growing, as the highly-contagious Delta variant spreads, case numbers rise again, and hospitalizations increase. In order to protect the safety of Virginia’s workforce and the people we serve, it is necessary to require state employees to be vaccinated and to encourage other employers to do the same.
By virtue of the authority vested in me as Governor, by Article V, Sections 1 and 7 of the Constitution of Virginia, and by § 2.2-103 of the Code of Virginia, I direct the following:
All Executive Branch Employees and state contractors who enter the work place or who have public-facing work duties must disclose their vaccine status to the designated agency personnel.
Executive Branch Employees who are not fully vaccinated or who refuse to disclose their current vaccine status, according to paragraph A, must undergo weekly COVID-19 testing and disclose weekly the results of those tests to the designated agency personnel.
All Executive Branch Employees and state contractors who have not been fully vaccinated must cover their mouth and nose with a mask in accordance with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention while indoors and conducting public business.
For purposes of this Directive, “Executive Branch Employees” should be construed broadly and includes but is not limited to employees in the following offices, agencies, institutions, and authorities:
This Directive does not apply to Executive Branch Employees or state contractors while they work remotely without in-person contact with other employees, the public, visitors, vendors, those in custodial care, or customers.
The Department of Human Resource Management shall issue policies, procedures, and guidance to implement this Directive no later than August 15, 2021. Such policies, procedures, and guidance shall address any exceptions and the availability of a process to evaluate requests related to religious objections or a disability.
This Executive Directive shall be effective September 1, 2021 and shall remain in full force and effect until amended or rescinded by further executive action.
Given under my hand and under the Seal of the Commonwealth of Virginia this 5th day of August, 2021.