Noem Issues Order With “Explicit” Exemptions For COVID Vaccine Mandates


      While a number of members of the South Dakota legislature want to call a special session to fight President Biden’s COVID-19 vaccination mandate, Gov Kristi Noem has gone another route.

      Noem on Wednesday issued an executive order aimed at ensuring that state employees can easily obtain medical and religious exemptions from federal vaccine mandates. 

   Noem says state residents are being denied medical and religious exemptions from the mandates, so her order sets up “explicit” exemptions that “offer a clear path for state workers to opt out of the shots.

    One of the  president’s mandates covers not only people directly paid by federal contracts but also anyone who works to support them. 

   Another, still being fleshed out by OSHA, will apply to all companies with 100 or more employees. All the mandates offer the option of frequent COVID-19 testing instead of getting the vaccine.