UPPER MARLBORO, Md. — The Prince George's County School system is admitting to some “hiccups” as it tries to ensure that thousands of unvaccinated employees are getting weekly negative tests.
Some employees have contacted WUSA9 with claims that unvaccinated and untested workers are in contact with kids every day, putting children at risk.
“No COVID results but still being allowed to work and enter school buildings,” one of the workers wrote.
Workers asked that their names not be used in our reporting for fear of losing their jobs.
82% of school employees are vaccinated, according to the school system.
But that leaves, nearly 3500 unvaccinated workers who are supposed to provide proof that they have tested negative for COVID every week.
Workers complained that COVID testing clinics that the school system is providing every Monday morning for its unvaccinated workers were not open on time, not reporting results to employees and were causing friction with vaccinated workers who didn’t want to be around unvaccinated colleagues waiting for tests.
Prince George’s Schools spokesperson Meghan Gebresalassie responded.
“In the first week we did experience a few hiccups," Gebresalassie said. "We do have several vendors that we use. Right now we're working with those vendors to ensure consistency and processes, making sure that all employees are receiving that verification.”
Gebresalassie said last week two vendors hired by the school system provided 812 COVID tests for unvaccinated employees and 808 of those tests were negative.
She could not fully account for nearly 2700 other unvaccinated employees but said additional employee tests were provided by school nurses and some employees provided their own tests from pharmacies and doctors.
She explained that only employees testing positive were still being notified of results.
“We are not aware of any employees who have been in the buildings that require testing and have not done that," Gebresalassie said.
"There have been absolutely no employees who have had action taken against them for not testing, and we are moving forward for our employees."
Employee testing for Prince George’s County Schools unvaccinated workers will continue at 183 schools and 5 other worksites Monday morning.
School districts in the DMV continue to ramp up efforts and incentives to recruit more bus drivers amid a severe school bus shortage across the country.