Gov. Northam ‘actively considering’ vaccine mandate for state employees, Dr. Avula says


AP Photo/Andrew Harnik, File – Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam

RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) — Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam is considering a vaccine mandate for state employees, the state’s vaccine coordinator said Wednesday during a press conference.

Dr. Danny Avula, who Northam appointed as Virginia’s vaccine czar, was alongside Richmond Mayor Levar Stoney and other city leaders for a briefing announcing a new policy requiring certain city employees to get immunized.

Avula said he knows Northam is “actively considering” a similar mandate for state employees and that he expects a decision soon. The governor’s office has not yet responded to a request for comment.

Richmond’s policy will apply to roughly 3,600 employees working for the city’s police, fire, parks and recreation, public works departments. Richmond’s constitutional officers, which includes employees in the city’s commonwealth’s attorney office and sheriff’s office, and Richmond Public Schools employees won’t be required to be vaccinated under the new policy.

The Richmond School Board only has the authority to implement such a mandate on RPS employees, but school superintendent Jason Kamras issued a statement Wednesday saying the district is considering the move.

“To protect the health and safety of our students and staff, we are seriously considering this step as well,” Kamras said in a statement after Stoney’s announcement.

Stay with 8News for updates to this developing.

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