SOUTHWEST IOWA — While the U.S. Supreme Court has heard oral arguments on the OSHA vaccine mandate but has not yet made a decision, the Iowa Labor Commission has submitted notice that the state will not be adopting or enforcing the mandate.
Locally, area school districts cancelled special meetings to put ordinances in place if the mandate had been upheld by the Supreme Court.
Both Audubon and Exira-Elk Horn-Kimballton schools had special meetings planned in order to put Federal Vaccine Mandate policies in place, if the Supreme Court ruled that the mandates were legal.
Both canceled those meetings when Iowa OSHA officials announced that the state would not be adopting or enforcing the mandate.
The Audubon Community School Board cancelled their special meeting, but did say the topic might be on the agenda for discussion at the board’s next regular meeting.
The Exira-Elk Horn-Kimballton board also cancelled their special meeting. Superintendent Trevor Miller said the meeting was cancelled based on guidance from Governor Reynolds announcement, late Friday, that Iowa would not follow the plan and would not implement the mandates. He noted that the board attorney’s said the board “should hold off until there is clear guidance for schools to follow.”
In Atlantic, school board officials noted that the Iowa Division of Labor issued the following statement: “As a state plan state, the Iowa Division of Labor is charged with protecting the health and safety of those in the workplace and has the authority to enforce workplace safety and health standards for Iowa businesses. Iowa doesn’t have a standard requiring the COVID-19 vaccine or testing. But after closely reviewing the federal OSHA vaccine mandate, Iowa has determined it will not adopt the federal standard. Iowa had concluded that it is not necessary because Iowa’s existing standards are at least as effective as the federal standard change.”
The district said because the state will not adopt the federal standards on vaccination, “We will be canceling our special board meeting scheduled (Monday) at noon. We will still hold our regular meeting on Wednesday starting at 5:30 p.m.”
No further information was available from the board, but they could reschedule sometime in the future.