BY MAIRE O’NEILL
Los Alamos National Laboratory has no plans to change its current policy of requiring COVID-19 vaccination for all employees, a LANL spokesman told the Los Alamos Reporter Friday.
“The Laboratory’s vaccine mandate has been in effect since October 15, 2021. All eligible employees are fully vaccinated and we are working hard to provide booster shots for additional protection,” he said.
Sandia National Laboratories have announced that although safety of the workplace remains its priority as surges in COVID-19 cases continue in New Mexico, California and across the nation, because the Executive Order requiring a vaccine mandate for federal contractors is still being litigated in the appellate courts, the Labs are pausing their enforcement of the vaccination mandate for their employees.
Sandia employees have been told that the discipline process for those employees who are unvaccinated and processing of religious and medical accommodations are on hold. A message to employees encourage the remaining unvaccinated employees to become fully-vaccinated to create a safer workplace and help deter community spread.
If the Executive Order is reinstated, the vaccination mandate will apply and will immediately be enforced for all employees.
Sandia employees have been told that beginning Jan. 18, “serial and voluntary testing programs” will be in place. All unvaccinated employees who go on-site will be required to be tested at least weekly. Tests also will be available for vaccinated employees who are symptomatic. Existing onsite protocols such as wearing face coverings while in a shared government vehicle or while indoors unless alone in an office with the door closed will continue to be observed.