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As Supreme Court hearing looms, Mason City School Board passes COVID vaccination policy for employees

MASON CITY — The Mason City School Board earlier this week approved a COVID vaccination policy for employees.

The federal government announced in November that businesses with 100 or more employees would have to require staff members to show proof of vaccination or have them be tested for COVID every week. A federal court decision blocked the requirement, but a federal appeals court in December approved the mandate moving ahead. The US Supreme Court is scheduled to hear arguments on the case on Friday.

The policy approved by the school board says all employees, including substitute teachers, either have to be fully vaccinated, or they would have to produce weekly evidence of a negative test and would have to wear a mask at work.

School board member Petersen Jean-Pierre asked Superintendent Dave Versteeg if people who provided an exemption would still be mandated to follow the policy. Jean-Pierre asked, “It’s either you are vaccinated, even though you are exempt, you still have to submit to the weekly testing  and the face-mask wearing?” Versteeg said that was correct.

Employees who fail to meet the policy requirements may face disciplinary action up to and including termination. If the US Supreme Court would overturn the mandate, the policy passed by the school board would automatically be immediately suspended. 

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