NYC and California Reveal Plans to Require Vaccinations or Testing with Shots being Mandatory for Medical Workers

NYC and California Reveal Plans to Require Vaccinations or Testing with Shots being Mandatory for Medical Workers

The U.S. is seeing an increase in weekly COVID-19 cases due to the delta variant.

New York City, the state of California as well as the Department of Veteran Affairs announced plans to mandate COVID-19 vaccines for the majority of employees, a change on some of the country’s views on vaccine hesitancy after months of campaigning to the public when vaccination levels dropped. In New York and California, the mandate comes with the option of wearing a mask and getting tested at least once a week if the employee chooses not to be vaccinated. The VA did not offer a different option for medical workers.

According to an article, the announcements, including in the most populated city and state in the U.S., came as the delta variant continues to spread across the country, leading to spikes, outbreaks and the reinstalment of certain COVID-19 restrictions in certain areas. NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio said, the state will require teachers, police officers and the rest of the 340,000 city employees to get vaccinated by mid-September or face weekly testing.California was the first state in the country to reveal a vaccine verification program for all state and healthcare employees. They must require evidence that employees are vaccinated by August 2, 2021, or they will face mandatory testing.

The delta variant is the real cause of concern. The U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs announced rules would become even stricter as time passes. According to the article, the announcement marked the first federal agency to enlist a mandate like this one and came as coronavirus infections have more than doubled in the past month at the VA medical facilities, according to a review.

More than 50 major American medical and health care groups called for health and long-term care workers to mandate the vaccines. The joint statement includes the Medical Association, American College of Physicians and American Academy of Pediatrics, saying “the logical fulfillment of the ethical commitment” of health care workers to put the needs of patients and residents of long-term care facilities first. “We stand with the growing number of experts and institutions that support the requirement of universal vaccination of health workers,” the statement said.

The United States is again surpassing 50,000 new infections daily on a seven-day average. In a full week, the country averaged just under 52,000 cases per day. The U.S. last hit that mark three months ago when cases were falling as people got vaccinated which took hold of the pandemic. Cases are now surging as the Delta variant takes over where the vaccine uptake declined.

About the Author

Shereen Hashem is the Associate Content Editor for Occupational Health & Safety magazine.

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