Washington County employees will receive a $500 incentive to get vaccinated against COVID-19, and will have up to 16 hours of sick leave available to them, should they need it to receive and recover from vaccination.

The County Board approved the actions Nov. 16.

The federal Occupational Health and Safety Administration published its emergency temporary standard on COVID-19 vaccination and testing, which applies to employers with more than 100 employees. Under the proposed ETS, employers, including the county, would be required to either implement a mandatory vaccination program, or a voluntary vaccination with mandatory weekly testing program for all employees by Jan. 4, 2022. While numerous lawsuits have been filed to prevent or delay the implementation of the vaccination mandate, regardless of the outcome of those efforts, it is in the best interest of Washington County to encourage as many employees as possible to be

vaccinated against the COVID-19 virus.

The city of Stillwater staff is keeping an eye on OSHA regulations as well, said Stillwater City Administrator Tom McCarty during an update at the city council’s Tuesday, Nov. 16 meeting.

The OSHA standard is facing legal challenges that could block or delay the requirement to take effect.

Stillwater has not announced any plans for any vaccination incentive programs.

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