North Charleston moves COVID-19 vaccine deadline to mid-November for city employees

Local News

NORTH CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCBD) – Nearly 80% of employees with the City of North Charleston are now fully vaccinated against COVID-19, but the mandate deadline has changed.

North Charleston Mayor Keith Summey signed an executive order in early September requiring its employees to receive the vaccine before a November 5th deadline.

Mayor Summey on Monday said the deadline for all employees to be fully vaccinated has been pushed back to November 19th.

It comes after a federal judge denied a motion in mid-October that would block local municipalities from mandating vaccines for their employees after a lawsuit was filed.

“It is not the court’s role to determine and impose the employer policies that best strike the balance of the competing interests of a pandemic that has plagued not just this state or country, but the world, for almost two years,” said Judge David Norton in his ruling.

“When we got the court ruling, we upped the deadline date,” Mayor Summey said. “Then we’ll deal with it from that point.”

Judge Norton said after evaluating and analyzing the law and legal arguments from both sides, the plaintiffs have not provided “a viable legal theory in support of an injunction, as each of the factors required to be considered, individually and collectively, weigh against the grant of injunctive relief.”

Of the city’s 1,060 employees, 78% are now fully vaccinated against the virus while 10% are partially vaccinated. City leaders say only 11% have submitted exemptions and a small percentage, just 1%, are non-compliant.

All employees, volunteers, and interns – full or part-time – were expected to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 by November 5, 2021, and those who wished to submit an exemption were required to do so before the deadline.

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