Vaccine mandate that was announced by president Biden unclear for Myrtle Beach companies since many things remained untold

Myrtle Beach companies with more than 100 workers don’t know how and when to implement the vaccine mandate since many things remained untold on Thursday when president Biden announced the mandate.

Although majority of locally owned restaurants, bars and companies have less than 100 workers, there are some companies in the Grand Strand with more than 100 employees on their payroll.

For them, many things are unclear over the vaccine mandate since Biden didn’t provide some important information about the mandate when he announced it on Thursday.

The City of Myrtle Beach employs nearly 1,000 people, but city spokesperson Mark Kruea said they haven’t been tracking who is or isn’t vaccinated since vaccines rolled out,

“If this rule does come down from Washington, we’ll certainly comply with it,” he said. “We’re not in a position to pay a $14,000 fine for every employee who isn’t vaccinated. That would not be a good use of city money to be paying a fine to the federal government for something as simple as getting a vaccine.”

One of the largest companies in the area like Horry Telephone Cooperative struggles with the lack of information and they are still reviewing the order. Coastal Carolina University that has more than 1,500 employees said that they don’t know how to implement the order too.

When it comes to schools, officials with the South Carolina Department of Education said they don’t think the order applies to them.

While some are accepting the order, State Rep. Russell Fry said he’s opposed and wants to see legal action taken.

“Mandates are a lazy way of governing, this could be dealt with by educating people. We don’t need to be over reaching beyond the scope of authority,” said Fry, who represents the Surfside Beach area.

Karen Riordan, Myrtle Beach Area Chamber of Commerce President, said in a statement that he is not very much concerned since majority of the businesses are locally owned and have less than 100 workers meaning that the mandate won’t apply for those companies.

“We are a community that’s made up of small businesses. In fact, 65% of the businesses that belong to our chamber are small defined as 10 employees or less. So this new OSHA ruling isn’t going to impact those workforces at all,” she said.

Hospitals in the are among the largest private companies in the area, but some of them already mandate their workers to get vaccinated. One of them is the Tidelands Health who enforced mandate in the summer and the deadline was September 7.

“Conway Medical Center will follow all guidelines as set forth by [the] government in regards to vaccine mandates for employees,” a CMC spokesperson told WMBF News on Friday. “Ever since Dec. 14, 2020, when the first vaccine given in the state of South Carolina was to one of our physicians at CMC, we have strongly encouraged our employees to get vaccinated. A majority of our staff is currently fully vaccinated.”

Cindy Carey


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