School Board passes COVID mandate for staff, delays putting in effect

by Marianne Gasaway

Shortly after passing a vaccine mandate, Clear Lake School District leaders have reversed course.

The Clear Lake School Board passed a measure at a special meeting Tuesday, Jan. 4, which mandates all staff which have not been vaccinated against COVID-19 must wear a mask indoors at all times and starting Feb. 9 must take a COVID-19 test every seven days.  On a 4-1 vote, with Greg Southgate objecting, the Board made the mandate to put the district in compliance with President Biden’s requirement for large employers.  However, Superintendent Doug Gee said Monday that since Iowa OSHA announced later in the week it would not enforce the mandate the school district would not change anything at this time.

The federal guideline is currently held up in the Supreme Court and Iowa OSHA has stated it will not enforce the federal guideline until after the court makes a ruling.

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.

At least 27 states, including Iowa, have filed legal challenges after OSHA released its rules.

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