HOUSTON, Texas (KIAH) Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner announced he has signed a new order requiring city employees to to test for the COVID-19 virus twice monthly unless they have proof of a COVID-19 vaccination.
Turner signed Executive Order (EO 1-71) the recent deaths of two City employees from complications linked to the virus. The requirement goes into effect October 8. Employees must report testing results to the City of Houston Office of Human Resources on the 1st and 15th of each month. Vaccinated City of Houston employees, or those with medical or religious exceptions and elected or appointed officials of council, boards, and commissions are exempt. The Human Resources department will announce the process for exemptions.
“I cannot stand by and watch employees continue to get sick, and in some cases die, from a disease that we know how to manage. The virus is having an impact on our workforce and the City’s ability to provide services directly to the public,” said Mayor Turner. “Overall, the City continues to see hundreds of new COVID-19 patients being admitted to the hospitals in the Texas Medical Center each day. While there are breakthrough cases, full vaccination is the best defense against COVID-19 and its variants, like Delta. The vaccine protects our first responders, our emergency care workers, and the hospital system as a whole.”