Will Memphis and Shelby County require COVID vaccines for employees?

MEMPHIS, Tenn. — President Joe Biden is expected to make an announcement requiring federal employees to get vaccinated or regularly tested on Thursday.

Meanwhile, there are questions locally about whether city and county employees will be required to do the same thing.

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The city and county are offering paid time off for their employees to get the shot but right now vaccines are not required.

FOX13 asked the county and city about regular testing. We didn’t hear back from the city while a county spokesperson said there are no plans for testing at this time.

“We are almost back to where we were at the very beginning because this thing is so infectious,” said Dr. Jeff Warren, a city councilman and member of the COVID-19 task force.

He believed the Shelby County Health Department would continue to encourage people to get vaccinated while following the CDC’s guidelines to wear masks indoors.

He said it’s important as the Delta variant causes a spike in cases and hospitalizations.

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“I think we’ll continue to be very aggressive here in Memphis and Shelby County and make sure we protect ourselves,” said Warren.

On Thursday, the president is expected to require federal employees to get vaccinated or undergo regular COVID-19 testing.

Right now, it’s recommended that Shelby County and city workers get vaccinated, but it’s not required.

Dr. Warren said as a medical professional, he gets tested often despite being vaccinated.

He said at the end of the day people need to protect themselves and the community.

“With this Delta variant, you can still get it and we know you can possibly spread it. We don’t have the data yet about how infectious people are who have the virus, who have the vaccine but we do know they could be infectious,” said Warren.

It’s unclear if the county and city will require the employees to go through regular testing in the future.

The city and county are requiring its employees to wear masks if they are not vaccinated.

Warren said the task force plans on discussing the new CDC guidelines and other updates during its Friday meeting.