ATLANTA – The Metropolitan Atlanta Rapid Transit Authority (MARTA) will start mandating weekly COVID-19 testing for unvaccinated employees.
The new testing starts on Oct. 4. Vaccinated employees must submit or upload a copy of their vaccination card to Human Resources to avoid the testing requirement.
Almost half of MARTA employees are fully vaccinated, according to information available through county health departments, health benefits providers, and vaccination appointments scheduled through MARTA. An online and in-person survey conducted by MARTA Research & Analysis revealed most vaccinated employees work at headquarters and railyards, with bus garages having the lowest vaccination rate.
“COVID has hit our frontline employees hard. We’ve had close to 860 people sickened by the virus and have lost three members of the MARTA family to this insidious virus,” MARTA General Manager and CEO Jeffrey Parker said in a news release. “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 will provide on-site COVID testing and vaccines for one month at headquarters and bus garages to make access to these services more convenient. MARTA previously partnered with CVS and the Urban League to provide onsite vaccination services at headquarters and Laredo bus garage and has offered vaccine clinics for employees and customers at various locations.
Other large transit agencies including the Metropolitan Transit Authority (MTA) in New York City, Chicago Transit Authority (CTA) and the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority (WMATA) in Washington, D.C. have begun similar testing requirements for unvaccinated workers. Locally, Fulton County recently began requiring weekly testing of unvaccinated employees.