SIOUX CITY -- Sioux City public schools Superintendent Paul Gausman said Monday the district is unsure if President Joe Biden's COVID-19 vaccine mandate applies to teachers and staff.
As part of sweeping new rules to tame the coronavirus, President Biden last week said he would require all private employers with over 100 workers to vaccinate them or test weekly for the virus.
Gausman said he is waiting for more guidance on the new federal rule, but at the current time time it's being interpreted as applying to private employers, not public entities. With over 2,000 teachers and staff, the Sioux City district is one of the largest local employers.
One "grey" area for the district, Gausman said, is whether staff in programs or departments entirely funded by a federal grant are subject to a different Biden administration mandate. Biden is signing an executive order to require vaccination for employees of the executive branch and contractors who do business with the federal government — with no option to test out.
Biden's mandate for larger private employers will be enacted through a forthcoming rule from the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) that carries penalties of $14,000 per violation, an administration official said. It also will require employers to provide paid time off for vaccination.