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The Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority (WMATA) yesterday announced changes to service and protective actions for its employees due to the surge of the COVID-19 omicron variant.
Metrorail service will increase in frequency at stations served by multiple lines. Call center operators will begin working remotely due to increases in COVID cases. All employees will be subject to vaccine and testing policies to help stop the virus' spread, WMATA officials said in a press release.
Beginning Jan. 10, all unvaccinated employees will be required to test weekly, and after Jan. 16, any employees failing to comply with testing and vaccine measures required by the agency will be placed on unpaid leave. After 30 days, a worker's employment will be terminated if they still are noncompliant.
"Metro employees live in some of the neighborhoods hardest hit by the pandemic and are exposed to the surge in the region and throughout the nation. It’s important that the taskforce take steps to make Metro operationally sound to meet the needs of our customers," said CEO and General Manager Paul Wiedefeld.