Montgomery County Council Expected to Pause Vaccine Mandate Vote
Concerns from business leaders may prompt the Montgomery County Council to halt a vote on what would mandate businesses to ask for proof of vaccination from patrons entering their facilities.
It’s an about-face for the County Government that historically mimics social laws and regulations that were first enacted in the District of Columbia, such as the bag tax that was first passed in Washington, D.C. in 2009. Not long after, Montgomery County Government passed a similar law in 2012 but no other jurisdiction in the Washington, D.C. metropolitan area followed suit.
Montgomery County Executive Marc Elrich is an advocate for the vaccine mandate as well as closely mirroring D.C. laws and policies. He believes the vaccine mandate in D.C. could inundate the County with people who (in particular) are non-vaccinated and would bypass D.C. and its mandate for goods and services.
A County vaccine mandate would require proof of vaccination to enter bars, restaurants, fitness centers and other covered establishments.
In a press conference yesterday held by Montgomery County Council President Gabe Albornoz and Vice President Evan Glass, Albornoz noted,
“I don't believe the council will be voting on this tomorrow, I think that my colleagues and I in particular still have many questions that have not been answered especially with regards to the overall goals of this initiative and whether or not this is the right tool at this moment given our high vaccination rates but also given the very real issue of spread through omicron, that is going through breakthrough cases in which people are vaccinated. So, we're not confident that this is the right tool at this moment.”
Albornoz and Glass head the Health and Human Services Committee. The County Council will continue work sessions related to the vaccine mandate today.