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MARTA to require weekly COVID-19 testing for unvaccinated employees

ATLANTA — MARTA officials announced Thursday that it will soon require weekly COVID-19 testing for employees who are unvaccinated.

The new protocols go into effect on Oct. 4. Employees must upload a copy of their vaccination card to opt out of the weekly testing.

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MARTA says three employees have died of COVID-19 and close to 860 employees have gotten sick.

“COVID vaccines are safe, effective and necessary to bring this pandemic under control. We’ve been masking and cleaning and social distancing for 18 months now and it’s time to get our entire workforce vaccinated to protect not only themselves, but their families, co-workers, and customers,” MARTA General Manager and CEO Jeffrey Parker said.

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Other transit agencies in New York, Chicago and Washington D.C. are also requiring tests for unvaccinated employees.

According to the most recent data, almost half of MARTA employees are full vaccinated. The agency says headquarters and railyards employees are the most vaccinated while the lowest vaccination rate is at the bus garages.

MARTA will have COVID-19 testing and vaccines available for one month at headquarters located off Piedmont Road and its bus garages.

The agency will also continue to offer incentives and extra vacation time for employees who get the vaccine.

“These incentives did result in more vaccinations but we’re still not where we need to be, Chief Administrative Officer Luz Borrero said. “We believe this is an occupational health and safety issue. Since September, we require all new hires to be vaccinated and are doing all within our power to ensure that the remaining part of our unvaccinated workforce who do not qualify for a medical or religious exemption get the vaccine.”

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