Photo by the National Cancer Institute on Unsplash

McMaster calls federal vaccine mandate illegal overreach, blocks enforcement

S.C. Gov. Henry McMaster Thursday issued an executive order blocking cabinet agencies from enforcing a federal mandate requiring companies with more than 100 employees to either have their vaccine workers vaccinated or tested for COVID-19 weekly.

All state agencies will be required to report to McMaster if the federal government asks whether their employees are vaccinated, according to McMaster’s order.

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration announced the rules for the federal mandate first announced in September. Companies with over 100 employees that fail to have all their employees vaccinated or tested weekly and wear a mask could face stiff financial penalties.

South Carolina joined a lawsuit alongside Georgia and seven other states fighting against the requirements that federal contractors mandate vaccines for its workers. McMaster said the state is exploring other legal options as well.

Latest COVID-19 data

South Carolina health officials reported 825 total cases of COVID-19 Nov. 5, with 560 confirmed. A total of 9 new deaths, 6 confirmed, were also reported.

With 21,853 tests reported, 5.6% were confirmed positive.

Percentage of S.C. residents with at least one vaccine: 63.1%
Percentage of S.C. residents who have completed vaccination: 55.3%