Lancaster Chamber of Commerce and Industry president reacts to Biden’s latest vaccine mandate

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LANCASTER, Pa. (WHTM) — About 380 businesses in Lancaster County could be affected by President Biden’s plan to fight the spread of COVID-19, either by getting vaccinated or tested weekly. So far it has been met with mixed emotions, especially at time when businesses are doing their best to cope with staffing shortages.

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“There’s got to be a better way to get at this without putting all the responsibility on the back of business,” Tom Baldrige, president of the Lancaster Chamber of Commerce and Industry, said.

It’s something Tom Baldrige from the Lancaster Chamber has been hearing about first-hand. He says the phone has been ringing nonstop, mostly from businesses looking for guidance. 

“Most of them are very anxious about what this means to their business and how they can try to figure out ways in which they’re going to be able to work with what they have and reach the mandates that’ve been asked of them,” Baldrige said.

The guidance from the Labor Department is expected within the next few weeks. In the meantime, some businesses are holding their breath waiting for the guidelines. They fear some employees might just jump ship.

“Those 150-person companies will lose employees to the under hundred because they aren’t covered by the same mandate. It’s those types of inequities in the system that are being driven by this rule that really creates chaos,” Baldrige said.

While Baldrige feels that a one size fits all mandate is not the best solution, he does agree there is a way out of this.

“There is an answer to the pandemic in front of all of us and it’s the vaccine,” he added.

Lancaster General Health was way out in front of the president, issuing a vaccine mandate months ago.  it won’t tell us how many employees have left or may have been let go for refusing to comply, but LGH does say nearly all of its current workforce is vaccinated, or in the process.

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