Minneapolis adopts new COVID policy, ends employee vaccination and testing rules

The city of Minneapolis will no longer require its employees to undergo regular COVID-19 testing if they don’t provide proof of vaccination.

Wednesday afternoon, the Minneapolis City Council approved a new COVID-19 workplace policy that immediately ends the previous vaccination and testing alternative policy.

Additionally, the council’s move extends COVID-19-related employee leave benefits through the end of next year.

“Since early 2020, we have remained nimble, we have followed the data, and we have put the safety of our employees first,” Mayor Jacob Frey said. “This change allows us to heed the advice of our public health experts, and then act on it fast.”

The city says the new policy continues its phased end to Frey’s local public health emergency due to COVID.

“The health and safety of our employees is our number one priority,” City Council President Andrea Jenkins said. “Everyone deserves a safe workplace, and we need to ensure our policies reflect that. As we move on to our next phase in COVID safety, today’s action solidifies policies that we know are working while creating the flexibility to react to changes in guidance as we move forward.”

“This resolution puts together a policy that is broad, forward-thinking, and allows for future adjustments based on changing guidance,” Council Vice President Linea Palmisano added. “This is our way to be as responsive as possible in the future to changing guidance and the needs to create a healthy work environment.”