County executive issues memo to county officials, departments heads about COVID vaccine

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Elected officials and department heads:

“I have already received several questions in regard to the president's remarks yesterday concerning the mandate of COVID vaccines. White County will not be requiring vaccines for our employees nor for businesses located in the county.

“Currently, state law TCA Code 68-5- 117 makes it illegal for the governor by executive order, a state agency or department or political subdivision of the state (White County is a political subdivision) to promulgate, adopt, or enforce an ordinance or resolution that requires a person to receive a vaccine for SARS-CoV- 2 virus or any variant of such. As you can see, we have a contradiction in federal policy and state law.

“This issue is going to be a long legal battle that will be held at the state and federal level, and I do not anticipate anything changing soon. When the dust settles and the laws are clear, I will reevaluate, but, for now, nothing is changing.

“There is a lot of conflicting information regarding the vaccine, but, as of now, the vaccine is the best defense we have against this virus. I would encourage anyone that has not been vaccinated to have a conversation with their healthcare provider to discuss the pros and cons and determine the best course of action for each individual.”

Denny Wayne Robinson, White County executive

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