from the get-vacinated-and-wear-a-mask dept.
President Joe Biden on Thursday unveiled a sweeping six-pronged plan to try to regain control over the COVID-19 pandemic, which is wildly raging once again in the US.
[...] The main focus of the president's "Path out of the Pandemic" plan is on reducing the number of unvaccinated people in the country. As such, the plan's most prominent elements are hefty vaccination requirements for millions of federal employees, health care workers, school employees, and even employees of private businesses.
Biden signed an executive order Thursday requiring COVID-19 vaccines for millions of federal workers plus millions more federal contractors. The new vaccine mandate eliminates a previous option that allowed federal workers to undergo regular testing in lieu of vaccination.
In addition to mandating vaccines for federal workers, Biden will also require vaccination for over 17 million health care workers who work at facilities that receive federal funding. The administration had previously required vaccination for all staff of federally funded nursing homes. The new requirements will extend vaccine mandates to hospitals, dialysis facilities, ambulatory surgical settings, and home health agencies—most facilities that receive Medicaid and Medicare reimbursements.
[...] The administration is also working on a rule—to be implemented through the Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration—that will require employers with 100 or more workers to ensure that their workforce is fully vaccinated or submits to regular COVID-19 testing. The rule is expected to apply to over 80 million employees nationwide. OSHA is also working on a separate rule that will require those employers to provide paid time off to get vaccinated.
For schools, Biden will require vaccination for the nearly 300,000 staff in federal Head Start and Early Head start programs. He will also put pressure on governors to get all teachers and school staff vaccinated. Last, the administration will push more schools to implement regular testing, which will be funded by $10 billion the administration already allocated to schools earlier this year.