Association of Village Council Presidents enacts COVID vaccine mandate for employees

The outside of a building that says: Joe Lomack Building.
The Association of Village Council Presidents office building in Bethel. AVCP is requiring all employees to get fully vaccinated against COVID-19 by Jan. 4, 2022 or receive a medical or religious exemption. (Elyssa Loughlin/KYUK)

The Association of Village Council Presidents has implemented a COVID-19 vaccine mandate for all of its employees.

The employees have just over six weeks to comply. Under the policy, they must be fully vaccinated against the virus by Jan. 4, 2022.

“Due to the safety of our employees and our community, along with the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA)’s new regulation regarding mandatory vaccination for employers with over 100 employees, AVCP has officially instituted a mandatory COVID-19 vaccination policy,” AVCP Communications Director Gage Hoffman wrote in an email.

A U.S. appeals court has stayed the federal regulation issued by OSHA, temporarily blocking it from taking effect. Gov. Mike Dunleavy’s administration, along with other states, private employers and religious organizations, have joined the legal challenge against the OSHA requirement.

RELATED: What to know about Biden’s 3 COVID vaccine mandates

AVCP employees can receive a medical or religious exemption instead of getting vaccinated. Exempted employees will be required to get tested for COVID-19 weekly.

AVCP employs 313 workers.

The Yukon-Kuskokwim Health Corporation and the City of Bethel have also implemented COVID-19 vaccine mandates for employees.

[Sign up for Alaska Public Media’s daily newsletter to get our top stories delivered to your inbox.]

Anna Rose MacArthur is a reporter at KYUK in Bethel.

Previous articleAlaska’s first electric-powered school bus is performing well – even at 40 below
Next articleCritics raise concerns with new Alaska political boundaries