Franklin County Administrator Kenneth N. Wilson issued guidance this morning to the approximately 1,400 employees of the Franklin County Board of Commissioners (BOC) regarding a new COVID-19 testing protocol. Beginning on October 18, all BOC employees will be required to show evidence of two negative COVID-19 tests per week in order to work. Employees wishing to opt-out of the requirement may do so by providing proof of having received the COVID-19 vaccine to the board’s Human Resources department.
Throughout the pandemic, the board has provided employees with a great number of supports to help them deal with the effects of the virus, including 80 hours of wellness leave to use if sick or for things such as taking care of children home from school, and employees are also able to take up to eight weeks of paid family leave to provide care for sick family members. Board of Commissioners employees have also been provided with paid time off to get vaccinated and the county has hosted a number of free vaccine clinics at county buildings. The board’s healthcare benefits office will also aid employees participating in the twice-weekly testing protocol.
The new requirements are in response to the rapidly increasing number of COVID-19 infections in our community, the diminishing resources available at area hospitals, and updated guidance from public health officials. Last week, the commissioners mandated the wearing of masks in county facilities, and this week they called on
all municipalities in Franklin County to enact mask mandates throughout their jurisdiction.