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Law professor says businesses can ask for residents to show vaccine card


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    FLINT, Michigan (WNEM) — A COVID-19 conundrum after the latest guidance from the Centers of Disease Control and Prevention allowing those vaccinated to go mask less in a number indoor and outdoor situations.

The question many are asking can businesses ask a person to prove their vaccination status and turn those who aren’t protected away.

Businesses and schools in yet another COVID-19 related conundrum.

They have to decide should they require masks for everyone or just the unvaccinated. And should they require proof of vaccination?

Can businesses and schools legally ask to show a vaccination card before you’re allowed to take off the mask?

It’s all up to the business according to Professor Mark Dotson with Cooley Law School.

“Businesses can put whatever restrictions they want to as long as they don’t violate any constitutional rights— “they can require individuals wear shoes, wear shoes and wear mask,” Dotson said.

What if unvaccinated people feel discriminated against?

“It’s my choice not to let you in. Everybody’s got choices. People want to act like it’s a one-way discussion.—it’s your choice not to wear a mask, it’s your choice not to be vaccinated, it’s the business’s choice not to let you patronize their business,” Dotson said.

Professor Dotson said the same goes for schools. Some districts, like New Lothrop are already making the decision to require proof of vaccination.

“There is no constitutional right to education— schools already impose restrictions on being allowed to be educated. Vaccines are not a new phenomenon,” Dotson said.

When it comes to HIPAA, he said it limits what somebody can do with your health information but has no bearing on if somebody can require proof of it.

Professor Dotson said what’ll be interesting to see is how courts will react to schools and businesses that will rely on the honor system, because there are potential safety hazards.

“If an employee becomes sick, then we’ve got worker compensation issues, there are potential lawsuit issues— “you are violating my right to enter into a safe environment when you allow folks to attend who are not vaccinated. That would be interesting and provocative. I don’t know how the court would rule on that,” Dotson said.

What would change things is if legislators put into law to ban vaccine passports and cards. Bills are being discussed daily.

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