health as it happens

Kan. most populous county: Get vaccinated or take weekly tests - hays Post

OLATHE, Kan. (AP) — The most populous county in Kansas is requiring its employees to submit to weekly COVID-19 testing if they aren't vaccinated.

“With the sharp increase of the delta variant, we want employees to be safe,” Johnson County Manager Penny Postoak Ferguson said in a statement. “Vaccination is one of the best tools we have to help prevent serious illness or passing the virus on to our colleagues or the people we serve.”

The fast-spreading delta variant has sent cases soaring, leading to outbreaks in day cares, businesses and elsewhere.

Postoak Ferguson said that only 46% of county employees had reported being fully vaccinated as of Wednesday. Countywide, nearly 58% of eligible residents are fully vaccinated. But health officials also have emphasized that lower vaccinations elsewhere in the metro continue to cause concern, as residents regularly commute to and from Johnson County.

Beginning Aug. 23, government employees who are not fully vaccinated must get tested once a week. Employees who work in departments providing direct care to residents are subject to tests up to twice weekly.

Similar requirements already have taken effect in school districts, businesses and cities elsewhere.