Local church offers COVID-19 vaccine exemptions, calls mandates an infringement of constitutional rights

Local News

PEORIA, Ill. (WMBD) – A local church is offering exemptions for the COVID-19 vaccine.

Northwoods Community Church in Peoria made the announcement in a statement posted to their website.

In the statement, the church said recent vaccine mandates are an infringement of constitutional rights.

“We choose to respect these God-given values and choose not to throw them out due to the wave of fear, division, and anxiety,” said Northwoods Community Church in a statement.

The church also said they support those who do or don’t feel led to be vaccinated.

The option to request a vaccine exemption is for Northwoods Church Members or attendees faced with a mandate.

During Thursday’s Peoria City/County Health Department COVID-19 briefing, administrator Monica Hendrickson weighed in on vaccine exemptions.

“We’ve globally, historically had vaccine requirements. Chickenpox, smallpox, polio–you might ask for an exemption and that’s a priority, a religious priority, a medical priority. I do know as employers, though, there has to be accommodations that can be met. Just because you seek out an exemption, recognize that as an employer they may not be able to accommodate that need,” Hendrickson said.

Hendrickson used a person who may work with infants or in the NICU as an example.

“They can’t wear a mask, and they can’t get the vaccine, so it may be very difficult to do a reasonable accommodation in that situation,” Hendrickson said.

We have reached out to the church for further information, but they declined to comment.

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