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Whitman

Whitman selectmen vote against vaccine mandate for town employees

The Whitman Board of Selectmen voted not to require town employees to be vaccinated, despite a recommendation to the contrary from the local Board of Health.

The selectmen agreed with the Board of Health’s recommendation that masks be required in all town buildings.

Selectmen at their Jan. 11 meeting also voted to reopen all town-owned buildings to the public starting on Jan. 13; they had been open for appointments only, with meetings both in person and on Zoom.

Selectmen had asked for guidance from the Board of Health in response to the surge in COVID-19 cases due to the Omicron variant of the virus.

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The three-member Board of Health had recommended requiring town employees to be vaccinated within six weeks — with exemptions for religious or medical reasons. Selectmen rejected the idea, with some members arguing that the town could open itself up to a costly legal fight.

Johanna Seltz can be reached at seltzjohanna@gmail.com.