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Washington County won't require COVID-19 vaccine, negative test for employees

The county will not require the vaccine or proof of a negative COVID-19 test for its employees.

FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. — Judge Joseph Wood announced Friday, Sept. 10, that Washington County employees will not be required to get vaccinated against COVID-19.

In a released statement, Judge Wood said the county will not require the vaccine or proof of a negative COVID-19 test for its employees.

"I encourage the employees and citizens of Washington County to consult their doctor regarding vaccination," Judge Wood said. "If a citizen does not have a doctor, they can visit the Health Department or the County Doctor for advice about the health of themselves and their families."

The announcement comes after President Joe Biden mandated that all employers with more than 100 workers must require them to be vaccinated or receive a weekly COVID-19 test. 

Biden spoke from the White House criticizing the tens of millions of Americans who are not yet vaccinated, despite its months of availability. 

Several Arkansas Republicans voiced their opposition after Bidenof the mandate.

The nationwide mandate affects about 80 million Americans. 

According to Washington County Attorney Brian Lester, the release sent by Judge Wood is in direct response to President Biden's announcement Thursday on the vaccine mandates.

As far as to what degree the President's announcement impacts these county employees is not clear, but the response from Wood still stands.

The Judge's decision does not impact City of Fayetteville employees since that decision will be up to Mayor Lioneld Jordan. 

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