State employees getting extra day off for booster shot

Published 12:00 am Friday, May 6, 2022

RALEIGH (AP) — State employees will get an extra day of vacation for receiving a COVID-19 booster, Gov. Roy Cooper announced Wednesday as state government uses a new incentive to increase vaccination rates.

Cooper signed an executive order that provides the leave to permanent, probationary or time-limited workers whose Cabinet-level agencies report to him. The extra time off will be given to those who have already received the first COVID-19 booster or those who show documentation by Aug. 31 of receiving one.

Starting next week, Cooper is also pausing a policy that began last September in which unvaccinated employees would have to be tested at least once a week. His office cited relatively low infection rates and pointed out that 78% of workers were vaccinated as of late April, compared to 65% last September.

Weekly testing requirements may continue for unvaccinated Cabinet agency employees in health care facilities or prisons, Cooper’s office said.

The extra leave should be available for most workers by early June, and it must be used by next March 31, according to the Office of State Human Resources. Part-time workers will get prorated leave.