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Gov. Henry McMaster Bans Vaccine Mandates at Cabinet Agencies, Requires State Agencies to Cooperate with Ongoing and Anticipated Litigation Related to Federal Vaccine Mandates

November 4, 2021

COLUMBIA, S.C.  Governor Henry McMaster today issued Executive Order 2021-38, which prohibits all state agencies in his cabinet from requiring employees to receive the COVID-19 vaccine. The prohibition applies to the 19 state agencies that make up the governor’s cabinet.

Additionally, the governor’s executive order directs every agency in state government to immediately notify the Office of the Governor and the Office of the South Carolina Attorney General upon receiving any communication or directives from the Biden Administration concerning COVID-19 vaccination requirements. This directive comes as the governor and Attorney General Alan Wilson fight the Biden Administration's vaccine mandate for federal contractors and prepare for a legal challenge to the recently announced federal OSHA vaccination requirement on employers with 100 or more employees, which would include state agencies.

Governor McMaster addressed the new Executive Order at a press conference earlier today. For video of his comments, click here.

The governor’s prohibition on vaccine mandates extends to and includes the following cabinet agencies: Department of Administration, Office of the Adjutant General, Department of Alcohol and Other Drug Abuse Services, Department of Commerce, Department of Corrections, Department of Health and Human Services, Department of Insurance, Department of Juvenile Justice, Department of Labor, Licensing and Regulation, Department of Motor Vehicles, Department of Parks, Recreation and Tourism, Department of Probation, Parole and Pardon Services, Department of Public Safety, Department of Revenue, Department of Social Services, Department of Transportation, Department of Transportation, Department of Employment and Workforce, Department on Aging, Department of Veterans’ Affairs.