Weekly COVID-19 tests mandated for most state workers

Published: Sep. 14, 2021 at 12:15 PM CDT
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MADISON, Wis. (WMTV) - The state of Wisconsin will soon start requiring all executive branch workers and contractors to take weekly COVID-19 tests unless they have submitted documentation showing that they have been vaccinated against the virus.

The state Dept. of Administration announced the new requirement late Tuesday morning, explaining that the protocol will go into effect on Monday, October 18, just over a month from now. Anyone with the executive branch who has not reported their vaccine status to the state or reported their status as not fully vaccinated will need to take the weekly tests.

“As part of our efforts to manage the state workforce, we’re looking to every tool at our disposal to address the Delta variant, including testing, wearing masks, and vaccination,” DOA Secretary Joel Brennan said.

On Monday, the Evers Administration indicated that 87% of executive branch workers have complied with the requirement to share their vaccine status. It added that almost 70% of state executive branch workers have received at least one shot of a COVID-19 vaccine.

More than 30,000 people work in executive branch jobs across the state.

Read the full guidance here.

Senate Majority Leader Devin LeMahieu criticized the Administration’s plan in a statement late Tuesday afternoon, accusing the governor of disclosing state workers’ medical information and overreaching his authority as the Evers Administration works to quell the pandemic.

Comparing Evers’ action to President Joe Biden’s recent executive orders that widen the scope of who would need to get vaccinated, LeMahieu, whose chamber has not taken action on any COVID-19 related legislation since the rise of the Delta variant, accused the two Democrats of trying to run people’s lives.

“The State Senate will explore all options within our authority to protect the rights of Wisconsinites and prevent further abuses by overreaching executives – be them from Governor Evers or President Biden,” he continued.

Copyright 2021 WMTV. All rights reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.