BLACKSBURG, Va. (WFXR)– On Thursday, Gov. Ralph Northam announced a requirement for all state employees in Virginia to get the COVID-19 vaccine or to take a weekly test starting Sept. 1. In addition, all Virginia students and staff are being told to mask up, regardless of vaccination status.

Dr. Laura Hungerford, Director of Public Heath at Virginia Tech, says she was excited to hear Northam’s news.

“First of all by requiring state employee’s to be vaccinated, he is taking a big step by getting everyone vaccinated, requiring them to get teste to know if they are infected. So, they cannot spread it to others,” said Dr. Hungerford.

During the news conference, Northam said coronavirus cases and hospitalizations are rising in the Commonwealth. He added that the current numbers are not as bad as they were last year, but that does not mean people shouldn’t get vaccinated.

The governor’s vaccine requirement will impact approximately 122,000 employees throughout Virginia.

“For me, even though I am vaccinated, and many people around me are vaccinated we still wear masks with people who have young children. There is a tiny chance that a vaccinated person can be infected, and take it home,” said Dr. Hungerford.

A few months back, Virginia Tech mandated the same COVID-19 policies. Hungerford says that many schools have done the same across the country, so the governor’s message is finally falling in line.

Kai Young, Virginia Tech graduate student, says that for some people, getting vaccinated is easier said than done, but it is time to get out of the pandemic.

“I feel like it will be a hassle for some people, but at this point just the amount of people who have had complications from having COVID, or unfortunately dies from it, I think it is a necessary step to take,” said Young.

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