All county employees will soon be required to take the COVID-19 vaccination if they don’t want to undergo bi-weekly testing.
During this morning’s regular Washington County Board of Supervisors meeting, District 4 Supervisor Mala Brooks made a motion to require all county employees to be vaccinated, or, agree to bi-weekly COVID-19 testing at their own expense.
After the motion was made by Brooks, it was seconded by District 5 Supervisor Jerry Redmond with District 2 Supervisor Tommy Benson voting in favor of the motion.
District 1 Supervisor Lee Gordon and Board President Carl McGee voted in opposition.
“I wish everybody would, I’m vaccinated, but I’m just not at that point,” Gordon said.
McGee, who felt similarly, said, “I’m simply just not there just yet.”
He also inquired as to the number of county employees who had already been vaccinated.
According to county administrator Chelesa Carter, such information had not been requested of county employees.
After the 3-2 vote, the board voted unanimously to authorize the development of a policy pertaining to mandatory vaccination and COVID-19 testing to be implemented before the mandate goes into effect, per the recommendation of Board Attorney Willie Griffin.
Being privy to instances in which individuals may decline the vaccination for certain purposes, such as those religious or otherwise, Griffin said, “I don’t recommend that you allow religion to be a reason for opting out. For medical reasons, someone should have an opportunity to opt out provided they show the necessary medical documents.”
The new vaccination mandate will not go into effect until the policy has been developed and implemented.