Governor John Bel Edwards may be considering a Covid-19 vaccine requirement for all Louisiana state employees and/or regular testing.
The governor’s office issued a statement saying:
This FDA approval of the Pfizer vaccine is welcome news. We are working on a plan and we expect that very soon there will be additional guidelines – including regular mandatory testing and other requirements – for any state employee who does not have the COVID-19 vaccine. We strongly encourage our employees to get their vaccines before these new requirements go into place so that they can protect themselves, their coworkers and the people they serve.
But for now, a vaccine is not required. Plus, there are numerous unanswered questions still like how many state employees are already fully vaccinated, how regularly employees would be required to be tested and if the state could face legal repercussions if the governor were to mandate a vaccine.
Ahead of a possible vaccine mandate, Louisiana Attorney General Jeff Landry put out an email to his staff saying he has no plans to uphold the mandate for his state employees.
In the email, Landry said, “I can assure you this: I have no desire to impose those mandates upon you. While we will continue to make masks available and provide information on where you may get vaccines, you are still allowed to decide for yourself whether you wear a mask or get vaccinated.”
Below is a copy of the email sent out to the Louisiana Attorney General Office’s staff on Aug. 25th.
I hope that your week is off to a great start and that you and your families are doing well and staying safe.
I write today to quickly re-assure you that I remain trustful in your ability to make proper decisions for your health and the well-being of our team.
I know that COVID has impacted all of us. Many have been ill, some even hospitalized. Others have lost loved ones. Navigating the roller coaster of this pandemic must certainly take into account the physical, mental, and emotional health aspects; while never losing sight of the rights guaranteed by law.
Yesterday (Tuesday), it was reported that the Governor plans to require state workers be vaccinated or be tested regularly. Though his latest plans have not been detailed thoroughly, I can assure you this: I have no desire to impose those mandates upon you.
While we will continue to make masks available and provide information on where you may get vaccines, you are still allowed to decide for yourself whether you wear a mask or get vaccinated.
We will continue to refill hand sanitizer stations and monitor the statistics. And we will continue to enforce the policies that have kept our Department operational.
If you have been exposed to an individual who has tested positive for COVID-19 and/or you are experiencing COVID-like symptoms:
Based on CDC Guidelines, if you opt to seek a COVID diagnosis, the CDC recommends a COVID-19 test be completed no sooner than five (5) days from the date of exposure/symptoms.
- Should you receive a negative test result, you may return to work following a seven (7) day quarantine period, provided that you are symptoms-free.
- Should you decide not to have a test administered, you may return to work following a ten (10) day quarantine period, provided that you do not have any COVID-like symptoms.
- Should you develop symptoms or receive a positive test result, please isolate immediately and contact your healthcare provider and HR.
As you know, I strongly believe in your choice to make the best healthcare decisions for you and your family. While some in government want to control your conduct and mandate your medical measures, I want to remind you that you are free. I support your rights and liberties, and no Gubernatorial threat will change that.
Please keep up your great public service!