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Local restaurant owner changes his mind, says employees not required to get COVID-19 vaccine

Published: Mar. 2, 2021 at 10:25 PM EST
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GREENVILLE, N.C. (WITN) - The owner of Sup Dogs in Greenville says he’s changed his mind and will not require his employees to get the COVID-19 vaccine, but is encouraging it.

Tuesday night Bret Oliverio told us the vaccine would be mandatory for those who wanted to work at the restaurant.

In a Facebook post since, Oliverio said, “After doing some thinking, the COVID vaccine is strongly encouraged for our staff, but will not be mandatory. We will be giving $150 gift cards to employees who are vaccinated.”

Oliverio went on to say the best way to help return to normal and not have to social distance or wear masks is to get vaccinated.

Sup Dogs says they are proud they did not lay off anyone during the pandemic and that all employees were paid in full, even when they were closed.

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More people will be able to get the COVID-19 vaccine starting Wednesday.

Governor Cooper announced Tuesday that the state is expanding eligibility for the vaccine to Group 3.

The owner at Sup Dogs in Greenville says in order to make sure customers and employees are safe, all staff members must get vaccinated in order to work at the restaurant.

Bret Oliverio is the owner of Sup Dogs and says he isn’t pro or anti-vaccine, he just wants everything to go back to normal.

Governor Cooper announced that the rest of Group 3, which includes restaurant employees, grocery store workers, transportation, manufacturing, education, food and agriculture, government and community services, public safety and healthcare, and public health can begin receiving the vaccine in North Carolina starting March 3rd.

Drew Ferguson is one of those front line workers, and he said he’s already made his appointment to get the shot.

Sup Dogs says as an incentive, they are giving a $150.00 gift card to employees for getting the vaccine.

Some people who fall into Group 3 disagree with the vaccine and say they aren’t getting it.

One man said he doesn’t trust it and wants to wait a few years to see what sort of long term effects, if any, come from getting the vaccine

Cooper says on March 24th, the state expects to expand eligibility to those in Group 4 who have underlying medical conditions as well as people in certain congregate-living settings.

DHHS says that 2.5 million doses of the vaccine have been administered.

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