Vaccine Requirements Expected for Federal Employees
U.S. President Joe Biden announced Thursday vaccine requirements for federal employees in an effort to stop the spread of the coronavirus delta variant across the country.
Under new rules, federal employees and contractors will need to confirm they are vaccinated or be tested once or twice a week for the virus. Those who cannot attest to being vaccinated will also have to wear masks while on the job.
The federal government employs more than 4 million Americans, including over 2 million in the federal civilian workforce, throughout the U.S. and across the world.
The White House stated that anyone who does not attest to being fully vaccinated will be required to wear a mask on the job no matter their geographic location, physically distance from all other employees and visitors, comply with a weekly or twice weekly screening testing requirement, and be subject to restrictions on official travel.
As of Thursday, 163.6 million Americans have been fully vaccinated and nearly 189.5 million have received at least one dose of the vaccine, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
On Monday, the U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs became the first government agency to announce it will require employees, specifically frontline medical employees who work in Veterans Health Administration facilities, to get vaccinated.
Earlier this week officials in California and New York, including city officials in Los Angeles and New York City, announced they will roll out new requirements for mandatory COVID-19 vaccines for public employees as well.
In the private sector, major employers Google and Facebook announced on Wednesday they will require all of their U.S. employees to be vaccinated before they can enter offices, Reuters reports. Twitter has now closed its reopened offices.