Roanoke health director offers vaccine, mask guidance for local businesses

‘You are in the best position to know what’s going to work best for you and your employees’

Experts say not to let our guards down as US reopens
Experts say not to let our guards down as US reopens

ROANOKE, Va. – Business owners are trying to navigate a new normal.

On Thursday, the director of the Roanoke City and Alleghany Health Districts, Dr. Cynthia Morrow, answered questions from local business owners about masks, vaccines and more.

Morrow said people shouldn’t let our guard down completely as things reopen because there are still cases, hospitalizations and deaths in the area every day.

She recommended that workplaces should still keep capacity limits in break rooms and said employers should encourage their workers to get vaccinated.

Morrow acknowledged that the guidance for fully vaccinated and unvaccinated people can create a challenge for companies.

“You are in the best position to know what’s going to work best for you and your employees,” said Morrow.

There’s no official statewide or local vaccine incentive program yet, but Morrow said companies can offer their own incentives like bonuses or comp days.

Employers are allowed to ask for proof that an employee is vaccinated. Morrow added that COVID-19 vaccination cards should look official, with the person’s name and dates of when they received their doses.

She is hoping that the honor system will be sufficient, but said the health district is willing to work with employers if they’re having issues.

“If you have reason to suspect that there may be a fraudulent card and you just are looking for our advice, we could theoretically look up that name,” said Morrow.

She recommended that employees who have not been vaccinated wear masks.


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