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'For the collective good': Longview auto dealership mandates vaccines for employees

The governor's vaccine mandate does not apply to private businesses such as Toyota of Longview.
Credit: Michael Cavazos

LONGVIEW, Texas — In an effort to help reduce the spread of COVID-19, Toyota of Longview is requiring all employees be vaccinated, President Greg Michelsen said Wednesday.

The dealership issued the mandate to its employees near the beginning of August with vaccinations to be completed by Aug. 18. Michelsen said the dealership lost 8% of its staff to "voluntary resignations" but took its employee vaccination rate from 12% to 100%.

"I’m not trying to change anybody’s opinion (of the vaccine), but on this piece of property, I would prefer my people to get vaccinated," Michelsen said.

The decision was a local choice, not a corporate mandate. Michelsen said Toyota of Longview is the first Toyota dealership in the country to mandate vaccines.

Read the rest of the story with our news partners, the Longview News-Journal.