Refusing A Covid Shot May Cost You, As Employers Pass Insurance Fees To Staff
As more vaccine mandates happen in companies and government offices across the country, USA Today notes that some employers may end up passing on hundreds of dollars of extra annual insurance costs to unvaccinated staff. Masks, vaccines and travel rules are also in the news.
Won't Get A COVID Vaccine? Some Bosses May Charge You $20 To $50 More For Health Insurance On Every Paycheck
Tyson Foods, United Airlines, CNN, the U.S. military. A wide variety of employers such as those four are imposing COVID vaccine mandates on their workers, and experts believe they’ll have a lot more company soon after the Food and Drug Administration gives the shots its full approval. Some employers aren’t ready to impose mandates but may still penalize workers for not getting vaccinated, possibly by requiring them to pay an insurance surcharge costing several hundred dollars a year. (Bomey, 8/10)
Covid Vaccine Mandates Sweep Across Corporate America As Delta Surges
The U.S. government may not require that everyone get Covid-19 vaccines, but large employers across corporate America are stepping into the void. More than a dozen large U.S. corporations, including Walmart, Google, Tyson Foods and United Airlines, have recently announced vaccine mandates for some or all of their workers. “With rapidly rising COVID-19 case counts of contagious, dangerous variants leading to increasing rates of severe illness and hospitalization among the U.S. unvaccinated population, this is the right time to take the next step to ensure a fully vaccinated workforce,” Dr. Claudia Coplein, Tyson’s chief medical officer, said in a statement Tuesday. (Towey and Josephs, 8/9)
San Francisco Chronicle:
In Conspiracy-Tinged Letters, 200 S.F. Employees Push Back On City's Vaccine Mandate
Nearly 200 San Francisco employees are attempting to rebuff the city’s COVID-19 vaccine mandate and other protocols like testing and mask wearing for city workers, submitting identical, conspiracy-tinged letters suggesting the city is infringing upon their “God-given and constitutionally secured” rights. The letters, which began streaming into San Francisco’s human resources department in late June, came after city officials announced they would require city employees — with certain exceptions — to get inoculated or risk losing their jobs. (Cassidy and Allday, 8/9)
In other updates on vaccine and mask mandates —
Oregon's Most Populous County Issues Indoor Mask Requirement
As COVID-19 cases in Oregon surge and hospitals fill up, officials in the state’s most populous county announced on Monday they are reimplementing an indoor mask mandate. People 5 and older — vaccinated and unvaccinated — in Multnomah County will be required to wear masks in indoor public spaces including stores, restaurants and gyms. The mandate goes into effect on Friday. (Cline, 8/9)
The Boston Globe:
Belmont Has Enacted An Indoor Mask Mandate. Will Others Follow Suit?
Massachusetts cities and towns are taking divergent paths as they try to stem the spread of the highly transmissible Delta variant, potentially leaving state residents to sort through piecemeal rules from one place to another. The town of Belmont on Monday became the second municipality in the state — after Provincetown — to mandate masks in all indoor public places, clarifying choices for people who live or do business in that wealthy suburb west of Cambridge. But elsewhere, the situation remains murky. On the heels of Belmont’s announcement, the mayor of Salem, Kimberley Driscoll, said she would ask her city’s Board of Health to impose a similar mandate. (Freyer, Ellement and Carlin, 8/9)
Washington Governor Jay Inslee Announces Vaccine Mandate For Most State And Healthcare Workers
Washington Gov. Jay Inslee (D) announced Monday that the state is instituting a vaccine mandate for most state employees and healthcare workers. Inslee cited the state's surging COVID-19 case numbers and hospitalizations as impetus for the new policy. Workers affected by the mandate, including long-term care workers and state contractors, will have until Oct. 18 to get inoculated as a condition of employment. (Saric, 8/9)
Health News Florida:
VA Mandates Vaccines For Health Care Employees, But Enforcement May Be A Challenge
Every person who walks through the doors of San Antonio’s Audie Murphy VA Medical Center gets screened for COVID-19. A worker wearing a mask and face shield asks visitors about their possible exposure to the virus and if they're having symptoms, then verifies they have appointments before allowing them through. It’s part of a systematic approach to prevention that VA has honed since the start of the pandemic. But now, VA leaders have a new tool to prevent infections: a vaccine mandate for 115,000 of the agency’s 360,000 health care workers. (Frame, 8/9)
The Baltimore Sun:
Seniors Remain A Risk For COVID, But Vaccine Mandates For Maryland Nursing Home Staffs Aren’t Universal
Seniors and those who care for them have been a prime target for vaccination since the pandemic’s early days when the bulk of deaths from COVID-19 were reported in nursing and assisted living facilities. The push has taken on new urgency since the delta variant of the virus began fueling an uptick in cases that includes seniors, with some facilities requiring shots for caregivers who now make up the majority of their cases. (Cohn and Miller, 8/10)
A Quarter Of US Hospitals, And Counting, Demand Workers Get Vaccinated. But Not Here.
Hospitals coast to coast are demanding their employees get vaccinated against covid as the highly contagious delta variant tears through populations with low vaccination rates. Nearly 1,500 hospitals — roughly a quarter of all hospitals in the U.S. —now require staffers to get a covid vaccine, said Colin Milligan, a spokesperson for the American Hospital Association. More follow suit every day as hospital leaders aim to head off staff shortages like those experienced last year and to keep employees from becoming vectors of the disease. (Houghton, 8/10)
In travel news —
North Carolina Health News:
Lost Your Vaccine Card? Need To Verify? Here’s How.
As cities in some states, such as New York and California, start to require proof of vaccine to enter public spaces like restaurants and gyms, North Carolina has made no indication that such proof will be required here just yet. When asked about whether North Carolina would have a statewide vaccine mandate at an Aug. 4 Coronavirus Task Force briefing, Gov. Roy Cooper instead encouraged businesses to get their employees vaccinated. (Thompson, 8/10)
Hawaiian Airlines Will Require U.S. Employees To Be Vaccinated Against Covid
Hawaiian Airlines told U.S. staff on Monday that they will be required to be vaccinated against Covid-19, becoming the third major carrier to issue such a mandate in less than a week. CEO Peter Ingram told employees that they must receive their second shot, if they are getting a two-dose vaccine, by Nov. 1, though there will be exceptions for medical or religious reasons, according to a staff memo reviewed by CNBC. (Josephs, 8/9)
Covid Vaccines Required For Travel, Unvaccinated People Don't Like It
Unvaccinated people are eager to travel again. But more and more, the rules make that harder. Travelers are increasingly required to show proof of vaccination before they can cruise, book group tours, avoid quarantines, or vacation to tropical islands. Beyond that, vaccines are needed for everyday activities including attending some universities, returning to the workplace or eating in restaurants. More cities and companies — from Paris to New York, from Disney to Fox Corp. — are issuing vaccine requirements of one sort or another, paving the way for others to follow. (Pitrelli, 8/9)