Biden forms a directive to make vaccines mandatory. What states have already followed the suit?
President Biden announced that all federal workers will need to be vaccinated against COVID-19 or face strict protocols including regular testing, masking, and other safety measures. The announcement sparked a wide range of reactions nationwide. However, officials insist this is not a vaccine mandate, federal employees who are not vaccinated will not lose their jobs as a result, and can opt out to do the weekly testing and other safety measures protocols instead.
Vaccination rates in the United States have been under 50% since the first vaccine was given in December of 2020. President Biden hopes the call for the federal worker directive will push Americans to get the vaccine and stop the spread.
Officials say this may be implemented across the federal bureaucracy, but it is not expected to apply to the military. The directive is considered to be broad, leaving individual agencies and organizations to create their own requirements.
Before Biden’s announcement, many other states have already picked up the same idea for their state workers. California is the first state to require state employees and some healthcare workers to show proof of vaccination or face mandatory weekly testing. Documentation of state workers’ immunization was required by Aug. 2, and any employees not vaccinated are required to produce a negative COVID-19 PCR test at least once a week.
New York is the next state to follow the suit. According to Gov. Andrew Cuomo, by Labor Day they will require the vaccination or weekly tests for COVID-19. At the same time, all patient-facing healthcare workers must be vaccinated, they do not have the option of testing, Cuomo said.
Similarly, Nevada is also set to require state employees to show proof of the COVID-19 vaccine or undergo weekly tests for the virus by mid-August. Gov. Steve Sisolak said the state is “mobilizing its own internal medical professional workforce to work with agencies to build vaccine confidence.”
North Carolina is also taking the steps to require all facility employees, volunteers, students, trainees, contracted, and temporary workers to be fully vaccinated by Sep. 30, 2021. Workers are excluded if they qualify for a medical or religious exemption according to a memo sent out on July, 27. The Associated Press obtained a departmental FAQ about the vaccine mandate that lays out “disciplinary action” if those don’t get fully vaccinated or exempted by the deadline.
This is a developing story, please check back for updates.