Local businesses and organizations react to Biden’s vaccine mandate

Local News

All federal employees and contractors are now required to receive the covid-19 vaccine according to an announcement from President Joe Biden on Thursday.

This new emergency rule will affect millions of unvaccinated workers across the United States.

As one part to Biden’s announcement, companies that have 100 or more employees are required to get the shot or show a negative COVID-19 test at least once a week

Erie county has about 1200 employees.

“It’s unfortunate for the country that this means this mandate has to be put into place, and certainly, I don’t think any of us want to see this happen,” said Carl Anderson of the Erie County Council. “But, we also have a responsibility to each other as Americans and as humans that we have to eradicate this pandemic.”

Even though this announcement was made for companies with 100 employees or more, some places are uncertain about what this all means.

“We are one of those businesses that are kind of on the border,” said Scott Mitchell, the CEO of the Erie Zoo. “We don’t really have 100 full-time employees, but if you consider part-time employees and volunteers, then maybe we approach that. But we have not been given that guidance yet.”

Mitchell will have the employees follow the guidelines in place but wants to know whether the volunteers and part-time workers fall under Biden’s announcement.

“We have less than a handful of people who are not yet vaccinated,” he said. “So, does this require them to get vaccinated or does it not? These are the kind of questions that we need answered. We don’t want to impose on those employees if it’s not mandatory, but they would be happy to do it.”

Mitchell is waiting to hear more information on what the next steps are for the workers at the Erie Zoo.

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