KANSAS CITY, Kan. — The Unified Government of Wyandotte County/Kansas City, Kansas announced Wednesday the implementation of mandatory routine COVID-19 testing for non-vaccinated employees.
“COVID-19 continues to surge across our community and our region. Vaccination remains the best defense against the spread of COVID-19 and the worst effects of the disease,” the UG said in a news release.
“Routine testing is an additional step to protect our employees, their families and the public,” said Unified Government County Administrator Doug Bach.
The UG said it will also be reinstituting special COVID-19 sick leave that will be available to fully vaccinated employees. The leave will be available to fully vaccinated employees who test positive for COVID-19 or who, after exposure to an individual with COVID-19, develop symptoms and are required to quarantine.
The leave also will be available to fully vaccinated employees who must care for an immediate family member who is fully vaccinated or is not vaccine-eligible such as a child under the age of 12 and who has tested positive for COVID-19 or has been exposed to an individual with COVID-19 and is required to quarantine.
Starting the week of Sept. 6, UG employees who have not been fully vaccinated will be required to test a minimum of once a week.
The UG said routine testing will help to reduce the spread of COVID-19, particularly among unvaccinated individuals who are most at risk for severe illness.
“The Unified Government provides critical services for the community, and we must ensure that we have a workforce that is capable of providing the services upon which the public depends,” Bach said.
The UG health plan is self-funded, which means that all costs, including for COVID-19-related treatment, are borne by the plan and its members (employees and their families).
Vaccination, masking, and routine testing are the best options for protecting health and reducing health plan expenses, according to the UG.
Similar testing plans have been announced for Johnson County, Kansas, Jackson County and Kansas City, Missouri.