Wichita businesses struggle to determine if OSHA federal vaccine mandate applies to them

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WICHITA, Kan. (KSNW) – Hundreds, if not thousands, of Kansas businesses must abide by the federal OSHA vaccine mandate.

So far, most businesses in the Wichita area have said that they are still figuring out what exactly these new federal requirements mean for their businesses and employees.

Spokespersons with Starkey, Friends University, Newman University, and USD 259 said they are not sure if this mandate applies to them.

The president of the Wichita Independent Business Association said we might see more lawsuits against this mandate in the near future.

“I think it will be interesting to see what all comes out of that but I would defiantly anticipate that there will be some legal action that is ongoing,” said Wendell Funk the president of the WIBA.

The communications director of Presbyterian Manor of Mid-America said they were anticipating long-term care facilities having to get the vaccine and have been working to prepare their employees for the announcement.

“It all comes from CMS, as well as our payment, so if they tell us we have to do it it is just like obeying the speed limit sign,” said Jeanne Gerstenkorn, with SVP of Health and Wellness with PMMA.

Businesses outside of health care have until Jan. 4th to get employees fully vaccinated. If workers do not, they must get weekly COVID tests and follow social distancing guidelines.

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