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Oct 08

City Manager's Message Oct. 8: Mandatory Covid-19 testing info

Posted on October 8, 2021 at 2:09 PM by Don Mann

Oct. 8, 2021 — I wanted to share with you some information regarding the Covid-19 Mandatory Testing Program that will begin next week.  


First of all, I would like to congratulate you on very positive vaccination rates. To date, we have 2,194 responses. Of those employee responses, 1,810 are fully vaccinated and have provided proof — that’s an 82% vaccination rate!

 

Our Mandatory Testing Program will allow employees to test at home and enter their results using a HIPAA-compliant portal. Only Nicole Clark, director of Human Resources, will have access to the portal. Some key points of this program are:

  1. The department head or a designee will distribute the testing kits to those employees participating in the testing program. The kits include:
    1. Covid-19 Rapid Test
    2. Covid-19 Blue Test Kit Holder   PLEASE DO NOT THROW AWAY, AS THIS IS NEEDED EACH WEEK
    3. Covid-19 Rapid Test Directions
    4. Instructions for Employees Positive Antigen Results
    5. City of Hampton Covid-19 PCR Test Authorization Form
  2. 2. When employees receive their kits, they will also be provided their employee identification number to enter into the portal.  Employees will have the option to select their appropriate department code.
  3. 3. Employees are required to take the rapid test within 24 hours prior to the start of their first shift of the administrative work week (Saturday 12:01 a.m. until the following Saturday at 12:00 a.m.).
  4. 4. Employees will take the test at home prior to reporting to work, take a picture of their results and upload the information into the portal.  
  5. 5. If an employee does not have access to a camera to upload their information, they may do so when they arrive at work. Departments will provide and identify a location for employees to enter their information.
  6. 6.  If an employee tests positive, they should follow the existing process (do not report to work, and notify their immediate supervisor) and are strongly encouraged to take a PCR test to confirm the result within 24 hours of the positive test. Failure to take a PCR test within 24 hours of the positive rapid test may impact the employee’s return-to-work date. 

The link for the Covid-19 Mandatory Weekly Testing Portal is: 


https://hampton.jotform.com/212776066120047


This link, along with other Covid-19 information, such as Frequently Asked Questions (PDF), is available on Employee Connection: 


https://hampton.gov/117/Employee-Connection

 

Requests for exemptions from the testing program are still being reviewed. Employees who have submitted requests that are still under review are not required to participate in testing for the administrative work week starting Oct. 9, 2021.

 

Employees who are unable to receive their kit today may do so when they report for their first shift of the administrative work week and take the test at home within 24 hours prior to the start of their second shift of the administrative work week.

 

I have included a link to answers to frequently asked questions (PDF). However, I do want to address here the question I personally have received the most. Since announcing this program, several employees have asked why all employees aren’t required to test — especially given the "breakthrough" cases for people who are vaccinated. While there are certainly cases of "breakthrough" infections for vaccinated individuals, thankfully these are still relatively rare occurrences.  The data shows that the vaccines are still highly effective in providing protections to individuals against the Covid-19 virus and its variants. The city has to prioritize the testing it will provide based on risk, the availability of testing kits and resources. For these reasons, we are not providing tests for vaccinated employees.

 

I am very pleased with vaccination rate as well as response rate to the program. I hope these actions will result in a continued decline in cases in Hampton and the entire region and we can continue to move toward a new normal.

 

Thank you for your cooperation in this comprehensive effort to maintain a healthy and safe work environment for our Hampton team!


— Mary

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