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Winnebago Board Tables OSHA Mandate Letter

The Winnebago County Board of Supervisors are mulling over a letter from the Occupational Health and Safety Administration (OSHA) which requires the county to enforce COVID vaccinations on all employees if the employee count was over 100. Those who are fully vaccinated are exempt, but those who are not will be subject to disciplinary action until they comply. The county will also be subject to fines for each employee who does not comply.

The action by OSHA does not take into account those who have natural immunity after having had the virus. Nor does it take into account the potential health condition hazards where an employee may have adverse reactions resulting in health complications from taking the vaccine.

Supervisor Bill Jensvold let it be known his feelings on the issue.

Supervisor Terry Durby became concerned because the Winnebago County Public Health Department must operate under a different set of rules such as vaccination requirements than do the rest of the county employees. Based on that principle, Durby sought to separate those employees in the health department from the rest which would bring the remaining number of county employees under the required 100 employed.

Supervisor Susan Smith saw both sides of the argument but realized the implications of the county did not comply with the mandates.

Jensvold on the other hand, believed that there should be some resistance to this mandate.

Since COVID-19 first struck the state, there have been 2,372 positive cases in Winnebago County and 40 deaths. The board has opted to table the OSHA mandate letter until they can get an accurate count of the number of eligible employees. The county is also facing a deadline of January 10th when required employee health information must be gathered and be on file for compliance purposes.



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