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President Joe Biden issued a new series of COVID-19 mandates on Sept. 9, and Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp is among several governors who are not only protesting the mandates, but considering suing the federal government over them.

“I will pursue every legal option available to the state of Georgia to stop this blatantly unlawful overreach by the Biden administration,” Kemp posted on his Twitter account.

Biden’s mandates include:

♦ Requiring all employers with 100 or more employees to ensure their workers are vaccinated or tested weekly.

♦ Requiring vaccinations for all federal workers and for contractors that do business with the federal government.

♦ Requiring vaccinations for health care workers at Medicare and Medicaid participating hospitals and other health care settings.

♦ Calling on large entertainment venues to require proof of vaccination or testing for entry.

♦ Requiring employers to provide paid time off to get vaccinated.

Kemp said Biden is playing “pandemic politics” that is dividing the nation, instead of uniting it. Kemp said businesses are already having problems finding workers and are now being asked to be “the vaccine police.”

Prior to the mandate, many larger businesses, such as Tyson Foods and United Airlines, had already begun requiring employees to be vaccinated. Kemp maintains it should be up to businesses, not the federal government, to decide if they should require employees to be vaccinated.

As of Sept. 13, Georgia has had 1,164,634 confirmed cases of Covid, with 80.729 new cases being reported in the last two weeks. There have been 20.705 deaths reported since the pandemic began in March 2020.

A total of 10,202,773 Americans have received at least one dose of the vaccine. There have been 53%, or 5,490,836 who have taken the first dose, and 45%, or 4,711,937 who have received both doses and are fully vaccinated.

In Butts County, there have been 3,091 confirmed cases, with 217 new cases in the last two week, and 86 deaths since March 2020.

In a little bit of good news, the percentage of county residents who have been fully vaccinated has increased by a percentage point to 29% of the county population. As of Sept. 13, 15,245 residents have received at least one dose. A total of 32%, or 8,129 have received the first dose, and a total of 29%, or 7,026 have received both doses and are fully vaccinated.

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Senior Reporter

I have worked for community newspapers in Butts, Henry, Newton, Rockdale, and Upson counties for 30 years. I was Editor of the Jackson Progress-Argus from 1993-1999, and returned to the Progress-Argus as Senior Reporter in 2019.

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