PIERRE, S.D. (KELO) — Governor Kristi Noem issued an executive order Wednesday allowing state employees to defy President Joe Biden’s federal vaccine mandate.
The mandate requires all federal employees to be fully vaccinated by November 22 unless they can provide specific medical exemptions. You can view Noem’s full executive order attached below.
“My executive order will protect their rights to medical and religious exemptions under any federal vaccine mandates. I am already talking with legislators about extending these protections to private employees through legislation as well,” Gov. Noem said in a statement sent to KELOLAND News.
The order does not extend to service members in the South Dakota National Guard who must comply with federal mandates to prepare for deployment.
Gov. Noem said in Wednesday’s statement that she is working to extend the protections against the COVID-19 vaccine to private businesses that have adopted COVID-19 mandates by working with the legislature in the upcoming 2022 legislative session.