Gov. Spencer Cox says decision to require vaccinations or testing should be left up to businesses

Gov. Spencer Cox speaks during his monthly news conference in Salt Lake City on March 18. Cox called a letter from the U.S. Department of Education warning that Utah could face legal action for outlawing school mask mandates meant to protect students against COVID-19 "extremely unhelpful."

Gov. Spencer Cox speaks during his monthly news conference in Salt Lake City on March 18. Cox called a letter from the U.S. Department of Education warning that Utah could face legal action for outlawing school mask mandates meant to protect students against COVID-19 "extremely unhelpful." (Spenser Heaps, Deseret News)



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SALT LAKE CITY — Gov. Spencer Cox says he wants businesses in Utah to be able to choose whether or not they require COVID-19 vaccines or testing for their employees.

"We support vaccines as the best way to end this pandemic and keep people safe," Cox said to KSL NewsRadio. "We also support free market solutions that allow businesses to require vaccinations or not require vaccinations as they choose."

On Wednesday, Utah lawmakers debated whether they could ban businesses from being able to require vaccines in light of President Biden's federal vaccine mandates, and mulled over whether the state should.

A group opposing vaccines mandates for businesses presented to the Health and Human Services Committee about why Utah needs this law. Some lawmakers, however, wondered whether a state law would have any impact if there's ultimately a federal law.

As a result, no Utah legislation has been proposed yet and lawmakers took no action after the meeting.

President Joe Biden has ordered businesses with over 100 employees to require vaccines or test employees weekly.

Cox has said he has "serious legality" concerns with Biden's vaccine mandate plan.

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Lindsay Aerts

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