Lyon County is setting up a vaccination policy for COVID | News, Sports, Jobs

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  Lyon County is setting up a vaccination policy for COVID |  News, Sports, Jobs

While county commissioners discussed the proposal, action on the county policy was taken off the commissioners’ agenda for Tuesday.

A couple of commissioners, including Sanow, said Tuesday that they would not vote to pass a vaccination requirement for county employees unless the courts determined it was constitutional.

However, lawsuits challenging the vaccine requirement came in from around the country. The new OSHA rules have been temporarily blocked by a federal appeals court.

Earlier this month, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) released new COVID-19 vaccination requirements affecting employers with 100 or more employees. Under the rules, employers would need to ensure their workers are vaccinated by a Jan. 4 deadline, or that they are tested for COVID-19 at least once a week.

Story Highlights

  • MARSHALL — A proposed policy requiring Lyon County employees to be vaccinated against COVID-19 is on hold while a federal court considers new OSHA rules on vaccinations.

  • “It’s not going anywhere until the courts hash it out,” said Commissioner Charlie Sanow.

Carolyn McDonald, Human Resources director for Lyon County, said she had drafted a COVID-19 policy in preparation for OSHA deadlines. While employees would be required to be vaccinated by Jan. 4, the actual new rules for employers were supposed to take effect on Dec. 5. McDonald said the county commissioners’ first December meeting fell after that date, and she didn’t want to leave the county out of compliance.

McDonald said she has spoken with a labor attorney, who advised that the county hold off on the policy for now, because of the federal court action.

Sanow said he was thankful that McDonald was taking a proactive approach. If needed, “We would have something set up to go forward,” he said. However, both Sanow and Commissioner Steve Ritter said they wouldn’t approve a vaccination policy unless it was determined it to be constitutional.

“I’m not voting for anything that’s not constitutional,” Ritter said. Ritter said he also thought if the county approved a COVID vaccination policy, it needed to include medical and religious exemptions.

Commissioners said they had received a lot of concerns and feedback from county employees on the matter. However, Commissioner Gary Crowley said, it’s important for employees to know that the proposed rules are not coming from county commissioners. Before the COVID vaccination policy was put on hold, the county had asked employees to submit certification that they had received COVID-19 vaccines, McDonald said. Overall, about one-third of county employees had done so, she said.

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