Biden Announces New COVID-19 Action Plan
On Thursday, September 9th, President Biden announced a new Action Plan to deal with the COVID-19 pandemic.
Biden’s Plan addressed six points:
- Vaccinating the unvaccinated;
- Further protecting the vaccinated;
- Keeping schools safely open;
- Increasing testing and requiring masking;
- Protecting the country’s economic recovery; and
- Improving care for those with COVID-19.
Drawing the most attention to his plan is his directive towards the Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) to develop a rule requiring employers with at least 100 employees to make sure their workforce is fully vaccinated or require unvaccinated workers to get a negative test at least once a week. Companies that fail to comply could face fines of $14,000 per violation.
This directive only applies to private-sector employers. As such, school districts will not fall under this vaccination requirement as the Plan currently stands.
However, President Biden has called on all Governors to require vaccinations for teachers and school staff. Currently, nine states, as well as the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico, have vaccination requirements for K-12 school staff, including California, Connecticut, Hawaii, Illinois, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, Oregon, and Washington. Building on Administration policies to require vaccination among federal employees, the President is asking more states to join in requiring the vaccine for school employees.
Finally, health care employers should note that the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) is taking action to require COVID-19 vaccinations for workers in most health care settings that receive Medicare or Medicaid reimbursement, including but not limited to hospitals, dialysis facilities, ambulatory surgical settings, and home health agencies.
The President’s Action Plan may be viewed here: https://www.whitehouse.gov/covidplan/
If you have questions about how this Action Plan could affect your business, please contact your Knox Law attorney or call 814-459-2800.