Nobles County, others await OSHA vaccine decision

Nobles County is among a countless number of employers nationwide of more than 100 workers awaiting the decision of the U.S. Supreme Court on COVID-19 OSHA vaccine regulations.


The Nobles County Board of Commissioners voted 4-1 last week to approve a policy pertaining to COVID-19 vaccinations or an alternative test-and-mask option. The policy is similar to what had been previously enacted by the Worthington City Council and the Worthington Independent School District 518 Board of Education.


County commissioners voted 4-1 to approve policy, with Justin Ahlers casting the lone no vote. Nobles County Administrator Bruce Heitkamp explained Tuesday that the county was advised to have a policy in place in the event the COVID-19 OSHA vaccine regulations are upheld and stated a less favorable option for the county would have been requiring vaccination for employment.


Even if the Supreme Court opts to strike down the mandate, Heitkamp added, the state of Minnesota could potentially move to move forward with it on its own. In that event, it’s likely that a battle would continue in the courts.


The first phase of the federal vaccine-or-test mandate went into effect Monday. While oral arguments were heard in U.S. Supreme Court were heard Friday, it’s unknown when a ruling will be issued.



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