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Governor John Bel Edwards addresses the media following a visit to the University of Louisiana at Lafayette's Covid-19 testing and vaccine distribution center on Thursday, August 19, 2021, at Burke Hawthorne Hall.

Nearly 40,000 employees working for the state of Louisiana will soon have a choice: get vaccinated against COVID-19 or face regular testing and other restrictions. 

Gov. John Bel Edwards said last week that once the federal Food & Drug Administration fully approves the vaccine -- as it did Monday for the Pfizer shot -- the state will implement stricter testing requirements for its workforce. 

"What I think you can expect to see going forward is that for those individuals who continue to choose not to be vaccinated, and I hope that nobody makes that choice, I think you’re going to see more testing requirements because we need to have safe workplaces," Edwards said Tuesday. 

"We need to curb transmission and so forth. You’re going to start to see those things play out, especially once FDA authorization is given and if people still make the choice not to be vaccinated," he said. 

A spokesperson for the governor, Christina Stephens, said there will be additional guidelines for state employees who are not fully vaccinated, including regular mandatory testing, but said details are still being worked out. 

"As soon as we know more we'll let our employees know, but they can get ahead by getting their vaccine now," Stephens said. 


Email Blake Paterson at bpaterson@theadvocate.com and follow him on Twitter @blakepater