The exterior of Fayetteville City Hall.

Fayetteville City Council members want Mayor Lioneld Jordan to look into a policy that requires all city employees to take a weekly COVID-19 test unless they opt out with proof of full vaccination.

The council voted 6-2 to approve a resolution encouraging the mayor to investigate the possibility of establishing a new policy in which all city employees would be required to submit results of a rapid PCR or antigen test to the Human Resources Department every week. Any employee who voluntarily presents a vaccination card showing that they are fully vaccinated would be exempt from the new rule.

The idea was proposed by Council Member Matthew Petty, whose initial language requested the mayor to implement the policy. Council members on Tuesday amended the resolution to simply ask Jordan to “explore” the idea after some concerns were raised.

Five people spoke against the proposal during public comment. One man said he doesn’t think the vaccine works, and another said she doesn’t think the tests work. Another person said the city should let the employees vote on whether they should get tested.

Council Member Sloan Scroggin said he was worried about the logistics of such a policy. He said he’s not against masks or vaccines, and he knows they work. He thanked Petty for bringing forward an idea to try and help the city cope with the pandemic, but said it would be too difficult to implement and conduct weekly testing. He voted against the resolution.

Petty said he agrees there would be logistical challenges, but he thinks they’re solvable. He said he hopes the mayor would consult with the city’s Board of Health to iron out the details before anything is implemented.

Council Member Holly Hertzberg cast the other no vote. She suggested polling all city employees about the policy, but received no support for the idea. She also questioned the mayor on the expected cost of a weekly testing policy.

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