N. Charleston employees have two weeks to meet vaccine mandate

North Charleston Mayor Keith Summey announced a mandatory vaccine requirement in September in a...
North Charleston Mayor Keith Summey announced a mandatory vaccine requirement in September in a video posted on the city's website. Last month, he extended the deadline to Nov. 19.(North Charleston City Government)
Published: Nov. 8, 2021 at 2:16 PM EST
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NORTH CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCSC) - North Charleston Mayor Keith Summey’s deadline for employees to get vaccinated against COVID-19 comes in two weeks.

The mayor announced last month he would move the deadline from this Friday to Nov. 19, city spokesman Ryan Johnson said.

Johnson said the decision was designed to “give everyone an opportunity to get vaccinated after the court ruling.”

Federal Judge David Norton denied a request on Oct. 21 to impose a temporary injunction to stop mandates for municipal employees in the cities of Charleston and North Charleston, Charleston County and the St. Johns Fire District.

Summey announced the mandate for city employees back in September.

“To achieve and maintain a workplace that is free from this known health and safety hazards the City is adopting a Mandatory Vaccination policy to protect our employees and their families, as well as the citizens, vendors, and visitors we serve,” Summey said in a video posted to the city’s Twitter page.

Summey said it was not easy for him to adopt a vaccine policy, but he said his responsibility was to the health and well-being of his employees.

The mayor said he wanted to make sure that emergency personnel like police and fire were able to provide services in a “safe manner” for the city’s citizens.

When the judge’s ruling came down last month, Summey said in a statement the city would extend the deadline by 14 days:

The city of North Charleston appreciates Judge Norton’s thoughtful consideration of the vaccine policy and looks forward to completing implementation in the days ahead. This is essential to provide a safe working environment for city employees and to deliver safe and efficient services to our citizens. The city is hopeful that some plaintiffs, having read Judge Norton’s order, may now wish to comply with the vaccination policy in order to retain employment. The city recognizes that it may not be possible for a plaintiff to be fully vaccinated by Nov. 5, even if they received a first vaccine dose today. Accordingly, the city will grant a 14-day extension, such that no one who becomes fully compliant (either through vaccination or approved waiver) on or before Nov. 19 will be terminated from employment as a result of the policy.

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