Centre County government employees will soon be required to show proof of a COVID vaccination or face weekly testing.
County administrators say the new policy will be similar to the one at the county’s largest employer.
In a 2-1 vote, the county commissioners approved the new policy Thursday, as the number of new COVID cases in Centre County this week have been close to, or above, 300 each day.
A company has already been hired to track the vaccination and testing status for the nearly 550 county government workers.
The county policy will be similar to what’s in place at Penn State.
“And the way they’ve been able to mitigate and isolate individuals who do test positive has been remarkable,” explained Centre County Commissioner Mike Pipe. “The question is with the return this week, can it continue? They’ve really crafted a good plan.”
Voting against the new policy was commissioner Steve Dershem who says it could be a significant expense for a minimal result medically.
“I think it’s unfair against those who aren’t vaccinated,” said Dershem. “Those who are vaccinated can still transmit the virus.”
As for testing, the county will spend up to $30,000 to buy rapid test kits from Penn State.
“They have test kits they’re not using that they’re making available to us,” said Margaret Gray.
The new policy is slated to go into effect on Jan. 31.