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S.C. Department of Education says Biden’s vaccine mandate could apply to most school districts

Fifty-five percent of eligible El Paso County residents are fully vaccinated against COVID-19.
Most public school districts in South Carolina may be required to enforce President Joe Biden’s recently announced COVID-19 action plan for vaccinations in the workplace, state education officials said Tuesday.(KKTV)
Published: Sep. 14, 2021 at 12:51 PM EDT
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MYRTLE BEACH, S.C. (WMBF) – Most public school districts in South Carolina may be required to enforce President Joe Biden’s recently announced COVID-19 action plan for vaccinations in the workplace, state education officials said Tuesday.

South Carolina Department of Education spokesperson Ryan Brown confirmed the action plan falls under the Occupational Safety and Health Administration’s Emergency Temporary Standard.

The OSHA Emergency Temporary Standard requires all employers with 100 or more employees to ensure their workforce is fully vaccinated or require any workers who remain unvaccinated to produce a negative test result on at least a weekly basis before coming to work.

Since South Carolina is one of the 26 states that has an OSHA-approved state plan, the Emergency Temporary Standard will apply to most school districts in the Palmetto State, according to Brown.

Brown initially said last week Biden’s vaccine requirement did not apply to non-federal public entities, like school districts.

“The South Carolina Department of Education has been in communication with the Governor’s Office and the S.C. Department of Labor, Licensing and Regulation, where the state OSHA office is housed, concerning the proposed federal Standard and is awaiting further guidance from their offices,” Brown said Tuesday.

The spokesperson added that the federal OSHA office has not developed the Emergency Temporary Standard, and the proposal is expected to face “numerous legal challenges.”

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