Grills Seafood owner declines to mandate Covid-19 vaccine for employees: 'God told me not to take this vaccine'


Grills' Cape Canaveral location. - GRILLS SEAFOOD/FACEBOOK
  • Grills Seafood/Facebook
  • Grills' Cape Canaveral location.

The owner of Orlando and Cape Canaveral's Grills Seafood will impose weekly COVID-19 testing among his employees, following a mandate from the administration of President Joe Biden requiring employee vaccination or weekly testing for large employers. In a memo to employees announcing the move, owner Joe Penovich said he refuses to mandate vaccination because "God told me not to take this vaccine."

The memo was shared to Facebook by Penovich and reported on by Bungalower. Penovich said that all Christians should seek guidance from God before receiving the vaccine.

"The debate over effectiveness or complications of this vaccine carry little weight with me. I'm not sure any of us know the full truth," Penovich wrote. "But I do believe Christians can and should be getting direction from the God we profess to know, more than the news we choose to listen to."

Penovich said he would not mandate vaccination at any of his businesses, including Grills, Sunrise Marina or his fishing charter company.

Penovich said in the memo that he has lost friends and family to the virus, but trusts his faith to protect him.

"Many of our employees are vaccinated, many have chosen not to be," Penovich shared along with the memo. "God directed my personal decision about this."

Stay on top of Central Florida news and views with our weekly newsletters, and consider supporting this free publication. Our small but mighty team is working tirelessly to bring you Central Florida news, and every little bit helps.

We welcome readers to submit letters regarding articles and content in Orlando Weekly. Letters should be a minimum of 150 words, refer to content that has appeared on Orlando Weekly, and must include the writer's full name, address, and phone number for verification purposes. No attachments will be considered. Writers of letters selected for publication will be notified via email. Letters may be edited and shortened for space.

Email us at [email protected].

Support Local Journalism.
Join the Orlando Weekly Press Club

Local journalism is information. Information is power. And we believe everyone deserves access to accurate independent coverage of their community and state. Our readers helped us continue this coverage in 2020, and we are so grateful for the support.

Help us keep this coverage going in 2021. Whether it's a one-time acknowledgement of this article or an ongoing membership pledge, your support goes to local-based reporting from our small but mighty team.

Join the Orlando Weekly Press Club for as little as $5 a month.