Caddo Parish Commissioner Roy Burrell is proposing a COVID vaccine mandate for all Caddo Parish workers. But he is also giving the workers an option. They can avoid the vaccine if they agree to be COVID tested on a weekly basis.

The Commission is expected to vote on this proposed ordinance during its regular meeting on Thursday. But Burrell is going to face opposition from several commissioners. Some are concerned this violates individual rights of the employees and there is also concern that this might cause some workers to leave for other jobs.

Caddo Parish is not the only governmental entity requiring vaccines of workers. New Orleans Mayor LaToya Cantrell recently issued a mandatory vaccine policy for employees of the city.

Burrell tells KEEL News it is his duty as a public official to protect the health and safety of his constituents. He says the Delta strain of this virus is much more serious than the earlier strains and it is some much more contagious.

Burrell says under his ordinance, employees would not be terminated. He says the measure provides a method for counseling and possible discipline, if necessary.

We asked Burrell about those who say this is government overreach:

We have a responsibility as government to protect the public. We have an obligation to the public. I have toyed over these issues of civil liberties. But I am cutting through the politics and trying to address the safety issue. I am willing to take the backlash.

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