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Vaccination Or Testing Soon To Be Required Of Baltimore County Employees

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Baltimore County Executive Johnny Olszewski announces vaccination requirement for county employees. Credit: Sean Naron, Baltimore County

All Baltimore County employees will have to be fully or partially vaccinated for COVID-19 by October 15 or submit to weekly testing.

County Executive Johnny Olszewski said Thursday he is ordering that because hospitalizations are increasing and the county continues to have a significant COVID transmission rate.

Olszewski said the county’s 9,000 employees are vulnerable because they come into face-to-face contact with people every day.

“Our employees are at greater risk of contracting the virus in addition to spreading the virus to fellow employees as well as the communities we serve,” Olszewski said.

At least 60 percent of county employees are currently vaccinated, according to County Administrative Officer Stacy Rodgers. She said under the plan announced Thursday, all county employees will be required to submit a verification of vaccination.

“They will be able to begin to submit their verifications beginning October 1,” Rodgers said.

Those who do not submit verification will have to be tested weekly for COVID.

Olszewski called on county businesses and the state to require vaccination or testing of employees as well.

“Because public health is a shared responsibility. And we can only put this pandemic behind us if all of us, all of us, do our part.”

Baltimore City and Anne Arundel County have similar employee vax or test plans in place.

Olszewski also announced Thursday he is signing an executive order that will allow the county to continue to support restaurants and bars that offer outside dining. Olszewski said the outdoor dining program was set to expire this week. His executive order extends it until 45 days after the county’s state of emergency expires.

“We will expedite permits as quickly as we can in addition to waiving license fees for outdoor tables,” Olszewski said.