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Centre County Government: Get vaxxed or get tested

BELLEFONTE — If you work for Centre County Government, get those vaccine cards ready.

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 Penn State’s University Park campus.

The new policy was approved by the Centre County commissioners on Thursday. The policy was approved by a 2-1 vote. Commissioners Michael Pipe and Mark Higgins voted yes, while commissioner Steve Dershem voted against the measure.

“Unfortunately, Centre County Government is still experiencing ongoing operational disruptions from in-office COVID-19 spread,” Pipe explained. “For the health and safety of our staff, their family members and members of the public, the board of commissioners approved a vaccination or testing policy for county government employees.”

The policy will go into effect on Monday, Jan. 31, 2022.

“Let me clear,” Pipe said. “This is not a vaccination mandate. Employees who choose not to get vaccinated from COVID-19 will be required to have an antigen test performed weekly.”

The number of COVID-19 cases in Centre County continues to skyrocket. This week, Centre County is averaging around 300 cases — or more — per day.

A company has already been hired to track the vaccination and testing status for the nearly 550 county government workers.

“We have partnered with Penn State University to acquire the antigen tests and analyzers,” Pipe stated.

The county acquired the rapid test kits from Penn State for $30,000.

Pipe said that it’s simply another step in the fight against COVID-19.

“We will continue to look at ways to keep the county government safe and operational,” Pipe said.

For more information about the policy, visit www.centrecountypa.gov.

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