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Cuyahoga County implements new COVID-19 testing protocols for employees

Cuyahoga County employees who are not fully vaccinated against COVID-19 will now be required to submit one negative COVID test each week, beginning in February.

CUYAHOGA COUNTY, Ohio — Editor's note: The video in the player above is from a previously published, unrelated story.

Amid a continued surge of COVID-19 cases in Northeast Ohio and across the state, Cuyahoga County officials are implementing new testing and vaccination protocols for County employees. 

"It is important to Cuyahoga County to support the health and safety of our employees, and the public who must visit our buildings," officials said in a release. "Over time, we have seen various measures taken by the County to mitigate the spread of the virus. However, we must remain vigilant if we are to continue to provide a safe working environment."

Employees who are fully vaccinated against COVID-19, meaning that they have received at least two doses of an FDA approved vaccine, will not be required to submit proof of a negative COVID test. However, employees who are not fully vaccinated will be required to submit one negative COVID-19 test each week. Employees who have not completed the vaccination process will be required to submit a test each week until the vaccination process is complete. 

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Officials said in a release that the new protocol will take effect in the first week of February and the tests will be done during the employees' regularly scheduled workday.

Employees who test positive for COVID-19 will be required to immediately leave the office to quarantine under the CDC guidance. 

Unvaccinated employees who do not comply with the new protocols will not be permitted to return to work until a negative COVID test is presented. Additionally, employees who do not submit results will be subject to punishment. 

Cuyahoga County officials held a press briefing late last week to address the spike in COVID-19 cases. You can watch the full press conference in the player below: 

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