Despite the federal vaccine mandate not being enforced in Iowa, the Clear Lake School District approved a second reading of their Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) mandate policy in the advent it is enforced.
The federal government announced in early November that businesses with 100 employees or more would have until Jan. 4 to require staff members to show proof of vaccination or have them be tested for COVID every week.
On Nov. 6, a New Orleans federal appeals court put a block on the vaccination requirement. Louisiana Attorney General Jeff Landry said the halt stops Biden from “from moving forward with his unlawful overreach.”
A federal appeals court panel allowed the COVID-19 vaccine mandate to move forward in a 2-1 decision on Dec. 17. The Clear Lake School Board had a special meeting on Jan. 4 to discuss implementing the new OSHA vaccine mandate protocol and voted to put policy in place.
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Since then, Governor Kim Reynolds (R) issued a statement saying that Iowa Labor Commissioner Rod Roberts submitted a notice that the state will not be adopting or enforcing the mandate.
In light of the governor's statement, Superintendent Doug Gee explained it would be better to approve the vaccine mandate second reading, with the notion that it would be suspended immediately, and avoid the need to meet again later to approve it should the mandate becomes enforced in Iowa.
"I had a call with other superintendents, everybody is pausing those (vaccine policies) right now," said Gee.
Clear Lake School District's vaccine policy, like Mason City Community School District's, would require all employees to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 or produce weekly evidence of a negative COVID-19 testing and wearing masks.
At least 27 states, alongside Iowa, have filed legal challenges after OSHA released its rules.
Abby covers education and entertainment for the Globe Gazette. Follow her on Twitter at @MkayAbby. Email her at Abby.Koch@GlobeGazette.com