Horry County, other local governments, in holding pattern while waiting for guidance on vaccine mandate

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CONWAY, S.C. (WBTW) — There is a lot of uncertainty in Horry County about President Biden’s vaccine mandate that would affect employees at any firm with more than 100 workers.

President Biden called on the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) to issue an emergency directive that would require everyone to be vaccinated or to be tested weekly if they work for companies with 100 or more employees.

The mandate was announced more than a week ago, but not much else about it has been finalized and made public, leaving people with questions about the mandate’s implementation and its enforcement.

Officials with the cities of North Myrtle Beach and Myrtle Beach said they are waiting for the guidelines to come out before they go forward discussing any plans.

South Carolina’s OSHA office said the same. It’s waiting on word from the federal level before passing it along to state employers.

While Horry County is in the top four counties in South Carolina in terms of vaccinated residents per 10,000 eligible residents, councilman Johnny Vaught said getting the people of the county to comply with the mandate will be a challenge.

Vaught thinks many of the people subject to the mandate in Horry County will resist, adding that enforcement of such a mandate would be difficult.

“[Horry County leaders] haven’t really had any talks because we’re following our governor’s advice,” Vaught said. “Our sheriff [Phillip Thompson], has already spoken up in the media to say that he will not be enforcing, unless something else changes, the mandate. We’re getting into a battle of who controls my destiny, and it is damn sure not the federal government.”

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