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Polis to require regular COVID-19 testing for unvaccinated state employees

This is in line with an announcement from President Joe Biden giving federal workers who have not gotten the COVID-19 vaccine regular tests.

DENVER — Gov. Jared Polis will require that all unvaccinated state employees undergo twice-weekly testing for COVID-19 until the transmission of the virus reaches a lower level. 

The plan is effective beginning on Sept. 20, Polis' office said in a release. 

The governor’s office made this announcement on Friday afternoon following increased concern from public health officials about the more transmissible delta variant of COVID-19 leading to another wave of the virus. President Joe Biden announced Thursday that unvaccinated federal workers will have to undergo regular testing. 

> The video above is from a previous 9NEWS story about the uptick in demand for COVID-19 tests in Colorado due to concerns about the delta variant. 

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“Based on President Biden’s announcement, newly released information about the delta variant, and the rise in community spread across the country, the governor and department leaders informed state staff of a policy change for state workers to make our communities and workplaces safer,” Polis’ office said. “This policy enables state policy to be consistent with federal government employment policies.”

Polis said more than 3.4 million Coloradans have received at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine. The state barely reached Biden’s July 4 deadline for vaccinating at least 70% of eligible adults. 

The testing for unvaccinated state employees will be free for employees. The state's news release did not say how the program will be funded. 

Proof of testing and results will be submitted to human resources, and a plan is underway to provide testing options for employees regardless of where they live.

A full FAQ about the policy is available here