City of Savage employees who’ve not received the COVID-19 vaccine are required to submit to weekly testing under a city policy adopted last month.
The on-site rapid tests take approximately three minutes to administer and return results in 15 minutes, according to Savage City Administrator Brad Larson.
The city’s first round of weekly tests were offered Sept. 14, according to Larson. By month’s end, no positive cases had been identified.
Around 30 employees are being tested weekly, but the number of tests administered each round may not directly correlate to the number of unvaccinated city employees.
Tests are also available to vaccinated employees who may need to travel or wish to be tested for another reason, according to Larson.
Additionally, not all unvaccinated employees submit to the test each week. Provisions in the city policy allow employees to opt-out of the test during weeks in which they’re working from home or not scheduled to work.
State of Minnesota employees who work on-site are also required to undergo regular testing if they’re unvaccinated under a policy announced by Gov. Tim Walz in August.
The City of Minneapolis and St. Paul Public Schools have rolled-out similar policies for employees, but Savage’s policy is an outlier in the Twin Cities suburbs.
Surrounding communities — including Burnsville, Shakopee, Prior Lake, Jordan — do not have policies requiring employees to disclose their vaccination status at this time.
However, cities reserve the right to inquire about an employee’s vaccination status and test results under certain circumstances, according to Prior Lake City Manager Jason Wedel.
On Monday, the Lakeville City Council adopted an incentive plan that offers an extra day of paid-time-off for employees who present proof of vaccination.
However, the city hasn’t yet moved to require testing for unvaccinated employees.