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Sep 17

City Manager's Message Aug. 26: Masks required in city buildings

Posted on September 17, 2021 at 4:25 PM by Don Mann

Aug. 26, 2021 — A couple of weeks ago, I wrote to share a video and email message about our plans to begin a robust “weekly testing or vaccination” program to protect the health and wellness of our workforce. Those plans remain in place, and are slated to begin Oct. 1. It is our plan to provide you with the details of this program by mid-September. With the full FDA approval of the Pfizer vaccine, there is still time for those who were waiting for such approval to be vaccinated before the start of this program. If you desire to do so, and are having difficulty finding your vaccine of choice, please let us know and we will help.

Since that time, I have learned that the Virginia Department of Labor and Industry released a draft of updated masking guidelines that closely mirror the recommendations of the recent CDC guidance. According to the CDC guidance, all persons in an area of substantial or high community spread, vaccinated and unvaccinated, should wear a face-covering while indoors. The City of Hampton — along with most of our region is currently in the high spread category. After a period of no reported cases among employees, there has been an increase in our cases over the past few weeks. Accordingly, effective Friday, Aug. 27, masks shall be worn inside all public buildings while in shared or common spaces. Additionally, elevator capacity in City Hall and the Ruppert Sargent buildings is again limited to 2 persons to allow for appropriate distancing. 


As a reminder, employees are required to conduct a self-assessment prior to reporting to work and complete temperature checks prior to entering city facilities. The self-assessment is to determine if an employee is experiencing any of the following symptoms:

  • Fever at or above 100.4° F
  • Chills
  • Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
  • Fatigue
  • Muscle or body aches
  • Headache
  • New loss of taste or smell
  • Sore throat
  • Congestion or runny nose
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Diarrhea

If an employee is experiencing any of the above symptoms, they should not report to work, and they should notify their supervisor and discuss telework options for their scheduled work hours, if available. Employees are also expected to notify their immediate supervisor and/or department head if they or anyone with whom they have had close contact has been diagnosed with Covid-19 so we can initiate the screening process.


The above requirements are irrespective of vaccination status.


I realize we are all weary of Covid-19 and the related safety measures that are required to protect one another; and, as I said in my last message, none of the measures is perfect. However, vaccination, masking, social distancing, sanitization and testing are the best tools we have to significantly slow the spread of the delta variant, or any subsequent Covid-19 variant, in our community. I know I can count on all of you to continue to adhere to these necessary safety measures so that we can take care of one another.  

Thank you in advance for your support of these requirements.

— Mary


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