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Unvaccinated Fayetteville city workers could soon have to submit weekly COVID tests

An agenda item was presented to the Fayetteville City Council Tuesday that could lead to unvaccinated city workers submitting weekly COVID tests.

FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. — Fayetteville City Council members heard a resolution Tuesday that, if approved, will require all city workers to submit weekly COVID-19 tests unless they are fully immunized against the virus. 

City council members will meet next Tuesday, Sept. 7, to hear more about the proposal after it was initially brought up on Aug. 31. 

The agenda item from Councilmember Matthew Petty comes as the delta variant has spread through the Ozarks, leading to hospitals in Northwest Arkansas being overwhelmed with COVID-19 patients. 

The measure does not violate Arkansas law that prohibits vaccine mandates or required "vaccine passports" for city or state employment. The measure if requiring unvaccinated city workers to get a weekly COVID test, and can be avoided if they submit their vaccination status. 

All COVID tests would be completed at no expense to city workers and would take place during work hours. 

Future questions to be answered about the resolution include - Where will funding for the tests come from? Will there be punishment for city employees that decide not to participate? How long will the testing requirement be put in place? How will city workers that work overnight shifts get tested during work hours?  

You can read the full agenda item below, and watch Tuesday's Fayetteville City Council meeting in the video attached. 

Please check back for updates to this developing story.

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