MEMPHIS, Tennessee — Tennessee Governor Bill Lee is expected to sign sweeping COVID-19 legislation by the end of the week.
The new law will remove power from local health authorities, public schools and some private companies by prohibiting them from demanding vaccinations from their employees. It will also allow workers who quit their jobs because of a vaccine mandate to collect unemployment.
As the current law is written, hospitals must allow a family member to visit a patient who has COVID, but the governor said the language should be rewritten to apply only to dying COVID patients.
The law also prohibits health departments and schools from requiring masks.
Shelby County Health Director Michelle Taylor said the school mask mandate will be lifted when the law goes into effect.
“The guidance for schools has not changed. There’s still a universal mask requirement in our K-12 schools, nurseries and pre-K and until that bill actually goes into effect, the guidance isn’t going to change,” Taylor said.
dr. Taylor said that when the school mask mandate is lifted, it will be more important than ever for children to be vaccinated.
The province is organizing two vaccination clinics for children aged 5-11 this weekend.
Tomorrow from 2pm to 7pm there will be one held at the Glenview Community Centre
The other is Saturday at the Hickory Hill Community Center from 9pm – 2pm
Staff from the Pipkin site will be used to staff those clinics, so the Pipkin site will be closed this weekend, starting Thursday due to Veterans Day, and on November 30, the Pipkin site will close permanently.
The health department will continue to offer vaccinations at Germantown Baptist Church and Southwest Community College.
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