Pima County Supervisors vote down COVID-19 vaccine mandate for its employees

Board of Supervisors also reinstated mask mandate in county buildings
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Posted at 7:10 PM, Aug 10, 2021

TUCSON, Ariz. (KGUN) — The Pima County Board of Supervisors voted down a proposal to require its employees to be vaccinated against COVID-19 at a meeting Tuesday.

The board was considering a measure to mandate COVID-19 vaccines, but Supervisor Rex Scott offered an alternative motion to do just the opposite, though not for his lack of support for the idea. Scott called Gov. Doug Ducey and the state legislature's laws prohibiting vaccination mandates "feckless," and said the laws would render a county mandate "toothless."

RELATED: Pima County Supervisors vote down school mask mandate

The board voted 4-1 against a mandate, with Supervisor Matt Heinz the sole vote against prohibiting a COVID-19 vaccine mandate.

In their discussion of the mandate before voting, supervisors acknowledged the conflict with state law, with most opposing the state prohibition on vaccine mandates.

RELATED: Board of Supervisors could redeclare COVID-19 an emergency in Pima County

Still, in their discussion supervisors acknowledged the current change in the pandemic with the emergence of the Delta variant, with County Administrator Chuck Huckelberry calling the rise in cases a "fourth wave" in his memorandum.

The board also voted down a motion to re-declare a state of emergency in the county due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The board rescinded its initial declaration last month.

In the middle of their discussion, Supervisor Matt Heinz acknowledged that the CDC had re-labeled the spread of the virus in Pima County from "substantial" to "high."

WATCH: Full video of Pima County Board of Supervisors discussion on COVID-19