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State and local officials react to vaccine mandates

Published: Nov. 4, 2021 at 6:14 PM EDT
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JACKSONVILLE, N.C. (WITN) - President Biden will require Americans who work at companies with 100 or more employees to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 by Jan. 4th or to get tested weekly for the virus.

The president issued the federal order Thursday that is expected to impact about 84 million workers at medium and large businesses.

State and local officials in North Carolina have given their opinions on the mandates.

Josh Dobson, North Carolina labor commissioner, said, “I’ve been vaccinated. I’m encouraging all of our employees to be vaccinated. My family’s been vaccinated. But to mandate it to individuals to keep their job is just, it’s the wrong approach. And it’s unfortunate that the Biden administration is going down this road.”

Dobson said people should reserve their right of choice and if they decline vaccination, they should adhere to distancing guidelines and use proper personal protective equipment in the workplace.

Dr. Richard Woodruff, Jacksonville city manager, also gave his opinions on the mandates.

According to the administration’s mandate, people who work in nursing homes, hospitals and other facilities that receive money from Medicare and Medicaid will not have an option for testing. They will need to be vaccinated.

Workers will be able to ask for exemptions on medical or religious grounds.

According to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), companies that don’t comply with the regulations risk being penalized $14,000 per violation.

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