Media

Washington Examiner to require vaccination for employees

The Washington Examiner is requiring employees to be vaccinated against the coronavirus. 

Employees of MediaDC, the outlet's parent company, were sent guidance announcing a "mandatory COVID-19 vaccination policy," that went into effect on Monday, according to a memo reviewed by The Hill. 

All employees must provide proof of vaccination to the outlet's human resources department by Aug. 9 as part of the new policy. For employees who have received a two-shot regimen for the Pfizer or Moderna vaccine, those employees must prove that their second dose has been administered within 35 days of the first.

Employees who are unvaccinated will be required to wear a mask at all times "while in the office, to include workstations and common areas," according to the memo.

Additionally, unvaccinated staff members will not be allowed to use the kitchen areas or be present in any conference room or training room, the company said. Any employee who is not fully vaccinated will be subject to the mask rules and be required to submit a negative COVID-19 test every 7 days.

A spokesperson for the right-of-center outlet confirmed the vaccination policy on Monday and issued a statement on behalf of the company's president and Chief Operating Officer Mark Walters. 

"The health and safety of our staff is always a primary concern," Walters said. "No one is at risk of losing their job if they choose to be unvaccinated, they will simply follow the protocols outlined in our policy." 

In February, the outlet published an editorial calling vaccines "safe and effective" and saying they must be used as "the endpoint of pandemic restrictions." 

"Enough is enough. There is no longer a curve to flatten. The spread of the virus is already much slower than it was in the early days of the pandemic," the outlet wrote. "And now we have a vaccine that will protect the most vulnerable within a few months. People are ready to leave this pandemic behind them, and government officials can no longer stand in their way." 

Citing a rising number of coronavirus cases due to the spread of the delta variant, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention updated its guidance last week to recommend people in certain areas of the country with a high level of community spread, regardless of vaccination status, wear a mask while indoors.   

The Examiner's announcement comes as several states and localities have teased or announced they will require proof of vaccination for workers who they planned to bring back to offices this fall. 

In Washington, D.C., Mayor Muriel Bowser announced the district would reinstate a mask mandate for all people at indoor places, a move that has been bashed by conservative critics. 

Leadership at The Washington Post last week told employees it would require all workers to provide proof that they have been vaccinated if they plan to return to the paper's newsroom this fall. 

Several media outlets have undergone so-called "soft" re-openings, staggering the number of employees who show up to work in person during the week. 

Editor's note: The author of this report is a former employee of The Washington Examiner and Media DC.

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