Anticipated Details Released On OSHA Vaccine Rules That Kick In By Jan. 4
How will unvaccinated employees be impacted by the sweeping federal mandates? Those working on site for companies with more than 100 workers must wear masks in enclosed spaces with coworkers, and get weekly covid tests starting Jan. 4. And there is no testing opt-out for health workers at facilities that take Medicare or Medicaid funds. News outlets round up all the new rules.
Majority Of US Workers To Fall Under Vaccine Mandate On Jan. 4
Nearly 100 million U.S. workers will be required to get the COVID vaccine by Jan. 4, with some workers allowed to test weekly instead, under sweeping federal rules released Thursday by the Biden administration that identifies COVID-19 as an occupational hazard. The regulations are aimed at health care workers and businesses with 100 or more employees, covering two-thirds of the nation’s workforce. Businesses that don’t comply could be fined $14,000 per infraction, and hospitals could lose access to Medicare and Medicaid dollars. (Flaherty, 11/4)
The Latest Federal Vaccine Mandate Covers 84 Million Workers—Here’s What To Know
Under the OSHA rule, employers must establish a policy to collect and maintain Covid-19 vaccination status records of their employees; ensure unvaccinated workers are tested for Covid-19 at least weekly if they’re onsite at least once a week, or within seven days before returning to work if they’re gone longer; and require unvaccinated workers wear a face covering when indoors in the workplace. (Liu, 11/4)
OSHA Rules On COVID Tests: Who Pays For Vaccine Alternative?
Who pays and how much? Those are among the lingering questions about President Joe Biden's new rules requiring that many employers test their workers for COVID-19 weekly if they decline his vaccination mandate. This much we know: The Occupational Safety and Health Administration rules announced on Thursday – which cover an estimated 84 million people – don't require employers to pay for the tests. The upshot is that Americans who refuse to be vaccinated could be forced to pay the tab for their weekly screenings. (Bomey, 11/4)
CMS Requires COVID Vaccines For Healthcare Staff By Jan. 4
The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services will require COVID-19 vaccines for all employees at Medicare and Medicaid-participating healthcare facilities by Jan. 4, and the Occupational Safety and Health Administration will require all employees at businesses with 100 or more workers to be vaccinated by the same date or get tested for the virus weekly, the agencies announced Thursday. (Goldman, 11/4)
Industry Has Questions, Concerns About CMS Vaccine Mandate
Industry stakeholders lauded the intent of COVID-19 vaccine rules released Thursday morning by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services and the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, but many still have lingering concerns, particularly about whether the requirements will lead to more healthcare workers leaving an already tight labor market. Meanwhile, Republican state officials immediately indicated they're planning to sue the federal government over the OSHA rule, a move that's been expected since the Biden administration announced it would require the two agencies to put out COVID-19 vaccine policies in September. The legal battle could begin as soon as Friday. (Goldman, 11/4)
Thousands Of Intel Officers Refusing Vaccine Risk Dismissal
Thousands of intelligence officers could soon face dismissal for failing to comply with the U.S. government’s vaccine mandate, leading some Republican lawmakers to raise concerns about removing employees from agencies critical to national security. Several intelligence agencies had at least 20% of their workforce unvaccinated as of late October, said U.S. Rep. Chris Stewart, a Utah Republican who is a member of the House Intelligence Committee. Some agencies in the 18-member intelligence community had as much as 40% of their workforce unvaccinated, Stewart said, citing information the administration has provided to the committee but not released publicly. He declined to identify the agencies because full information on vaccination rates was classified. (Merchant, 11/5)