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Franklin County Recorder's Office To Require Vaccinations Or Weekly Tests For Employees

The Franklin County Government Center in downtown Columbus.
Wikimedia Commons
The Franklin County Government Center in downtown Columbus.

With the spread of the highly infectious delta variant of COVID-19, one Central Ohio official is taking action in his office.

Franklin County Recorder Danny O'Connor will begin requiring his employees to be vaccinated or be tested weekly for the virus beginning in early September.

This makes the recorder the first non-judicial elected officeholder to make such a requirement, which O’Connor said he is pleased about.

“We’re proud of that. We’re proud to lead on this issue,” O’Connor said. “This is a time for bold leadership and we’ve got to get going.”

O’Connor said the country has had the tools to fight the virus for months but has not been doing enough.

“Right now we’re at a point of national peril,” O’Connor said. “We have a delta variant that is emerging that is extremely problematic. It is causing children to be infected at a more contagious and a higher rate.”

Similar measures are being taken by others locally. Central Ohio hospitals are requiring employees to get vaccinated this fall. PromoWest Venues, including Express Live and Newport Music Hall, will require proof of vaccination to attend their shows beginning in October.

Ohio lawmakers in September will debate whether businesses can require their employees to be vaccinated.

O’Connor said the high economic and personal stakes of the virus were factors in the decision he made for his office.

“It’s not a decision that we made lightly, but it’s, to us, too important of a decision not to make,” O’Connor said, while adding that he encourages Franklin County residents to ask their doctor about whether they should be vaccinated. O’Connor said the answer to that question “will pretty much always be yes.”

“This is an all-hands-on-deck effort, and every single one of us, every single American needs to be in this fight,” he said.