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MGM will require unvaccinated workers to pay for COVID testing

MGM Resorts International employees in Las Vegas who haven’t shown proof that they have been vaccinated against the COVID-19 virus will be required to pay for regular testing, according to a company policy that went into effect Monday.

There will be a $15 co-pay charge for employees who get tested on-site, per the policy. Employees also have the option to use off-site testing, but those who do will need to provide proof of a negative test result from an FDA-approved molecular PCR test. The policy said that results from antigen and home testing kits will not be accepted.

Testing will not be required for employees who have a vaccine verification sticker on their ID and those designated as work-from-home.

The company confirmed the policy was in place in an email to the Review-Journal on Tuesday.

Culinary Local 226 said it is supportive of the company’s policy and encouraged people to get the vaccine. The union represents about 24,000 MGM workers in Las Vegas, including those at Aria, Bellagio, Excalibur, Luxor, MGM Grand, Mandalay Bay, New York-New York, Park MGM, Signature and Vdara.

“The CDC said previously that more than 97 percent of people who have been admitted to the hospital with COVID-19 have not been vaccinated. The Culinary Union urges Nevadans who are not yet vaccinated to get the vaccine — it is the best way to protect you, your family, our hospitality jobs, and our state’s industries,” union spokeswoman Bethany Khan said. “The Culinary union will remain vigilant to ensure workers are protected at work and urge hospitality employees to get the COVID-19 vaccine as they are safe, proven, and effective.”

Testing for MGM employees will be divided up alphabetically by last name, and each group will be assigned a specific week for testing.

Employees who test positive or have had close contact with someone who tested positive will be required to quarantine. The company noted that employees who are not fully vaccinated will not be paid for their time off during quarantine.

Contact Colton Lochhead at clochhead@reviewjournal.com. Follow @ColtonLochhead on Twitter.

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