Miami Valley businesses say Biden’s vaccine mandate puts ‘burden’ on already struggling employers

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MIAMI VALLEY, Ohio (WDTN) — Following President Biden’s announcement that any business with more than 100 employees will soon be required to mandate COVID-19 vaccines or regular COVID-19 testing for their workers, the Dayton Area Chamber of Commerce (DACC) responded.

“It just doesn’t seem fair to be putting this burden on employers. Employers have been right there with our government leaders helping them lead through this pandemic,” said Chris Kershner, President and CEO of the DACC.

Kershner says many employers and businesses are still working to hire staff, make a profit, or simply stay open after the difficulties of the pandemic. He shared that some businesses were saddled with the cost of paying for PPE and other health and safety measures to control the spread of COVID-19.

Now, the DACC wants to discuss with government officials at all levels a way of moving forward that wouldn’t be so detrimental to businesses.

“Work with us,” pleaded Kershner. “Work with the business community to come up with a solution. We all have the same goal to end this pandemic and get back to business as usual.”

The DACC says they don’t yet have a record of how many Dayton businesses the mandate will impact. They say at this time the federal government hasn’t provided guidance to help them start the process of putting this mandate into place.

The Clark County Combined Health District (CCCHD) says they’re ready to work with their local Chamber of Commerce and businesses when needed, but they are also waiting on more details.

“We need actual rules by the different federal entities so we can understand who it applies to and what exemptions are there,” explained Charles Patterson, Health Commissioner.

Patterson says that already, the CCCHD’s testing capabilities are strained. Enforcing regular testing for unvaccinated employees in the county would require more resources.

However, from his past experience, Patterson says it can take some time before mandates and other directives from the government are finally operating at the local level.

“I expect it will take one to two months, even on an emergency basis, for these rules to come out,” he said. “So it’s not something that people need to worry about right away.”

He does encourage people to not wait until the mandate is enforced, but to get vaccinated now. In addition to avoiding long lines and wait times, he also says getting the COVID-19 vaccine is the best form of protection against spreading COVID-19 or becoming seriously ill from the virus.

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