Kanawha County reviewing state coronavirus exemption law for possible local changes

CHARLESTON, W.Va. — Kanawha County staff will review the county’s coronavirus vaccination policy for possible changes in light of the state Legislature’s approval of a bill on vaccine exemptions.

State lawmakers last week approved legislation allowing workers to seek an exemption from getting vaccinated by providing documentation noting a medical or religious reason.

Kanawha County does not require its employees or job candidates to get vaccinated, but unvaccinated employees have to use personal days if they are unable to work for coronavirus-related reasons. The county does offer exemptions for medical and religious reasons.

“The state’s bill just codified existing federal law,” said Andrew Gunnoe, deputy county manager and assistant county attorney, during the Kanawha County Commission’s meeting last week.

Kanawha County Commission President Kent Carper recommended a review but noted he does not believe the commission will have to change its policy.

“I’m not inclined to change our policy upon this thing,” he said referencing the Legislature’s bill.