President Biden announced today that all businesses with 100 or more employees must require their workers to be vaccinated or undergo weekly COVID-19 testing.
Biden is also requiring all health facilities that accept Medicare or Medicaid funding to vaccinate their workforces and all federal employees to get vaccinated as well, without the option of regular testing instead. The total of these mandatory vaccination orders covers more than 100 million people.
The sweeping new vaccine mandates come as the highly contagious delta variant has sent COVID-19 cases surging to more than 150,000 a day and is causing more than 1,500 daily deaths.
Under Biden’s directive, the Department of Labor will develop a rule requiring companies with 100 or more employees to require their staff to be vaccinated or tested weekly, Employers could face fines of $14,000 per violation, according to reports. The White House estimates that the policy will impact about 80 million workers or two-thirds of the country’s workforce.
Businesses will also be required to give employees paid time off to get vaccinated. “This plan will ensure that we are using every available tool to combat COVID-19 and save even more lives in the months ahead, while also keeping schools open and safe, and protecting our economy from lockdowns and damage,” the White House said in a memo.