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Sunday, July 3, 2022

Mt. Lake board passes COVID policy

At a special meeting Thursday, the Mt. Lake Public School Board approved a policy that would require employees to either be vaccinated against COVID-19 or be subject to weekly testing and mandatory face covering usage.

The measure passed on a 4-2 vote.

The policy would only take effect if the Supreme Court does not strike down proposed OSHA requirements on employers with 100 or more employees, or the state does not implement those same proposed standards.

The proposal from OSHA would require any employer with 100 or more employees to require COVID vaccination. Any employee who is unvaccinated would be required to test for COVID on a weekly basis, and would also be required to wear a face covering. However, the Supreme Court heard arguments last week, and a ruling could potentially strike down any vaccination requirements, or any testing/face covering requirements.

Supt. Bill Strom noted that the board acted because, if the mandates are put into place, the district could face potential penalties for non-compliance, but added the district, as well as parents and staff, have been vigilant to limit the spread of COVID within the school.

Barring court action, the district would have until Feb. 9 to “substantially implement” the mandate.

Strom said that some staff members are frustrated over the proposed mandates, adding that the proposals do not necessarily work for every school or business.

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