Options for COVID-19 vaccinations and testing in the Bay area – ABC Action News

Options for COVID-19 vaccinations and testing in the Bay area – ABC Action News

Options for COVID-19 vaccinations and testing in the Bay area – ABC Action News

Options for COVID-19 vaccinations and testing in the Bay area – ABC Action News

August 4, 2021

TAMPA, Fla. Florida is seeing record-breaking numbers of people hospitalized with COVID-19.

And with the surge of delta variant cases, we're seeing more people looking to get tested and finally deciding to get vaccinated.

Even without the large-scale testing sites, we saw in the early days of the pandemic, there are still many options for finding locations to get tested for COVID-19.

In Hillsborough County testing and vaccination locations are no longer managed by the health department.

But they do recommend CVS, Quest Diagnostics, Walgreens, and independent pharmacies: https://www.hillsboroughcounty.org/en/residents/public-safety/emergency-management/stay-safe/getting-tested

For vaccinations locations anywhere go to vaccines.gov.

The Pinellas County Department of Healths site shows a map with many locations for testing, including multiple CVS and Walgreens and urgent cares.

USF Professor, Dr. Jason Salemi studies the COVID-19 numbers released by the Florida Department of Health.

He says testing has gone up in the state from about 50,000 a day to about 80,000 a day.

That increase pails in comparison to the increase in cases and thats why we see positivity increasing. So when you see test positivity going up that means the increase in cases is more than the increase in testing volume. Obviously, in the last six weeks, we went from 3.3% to over 18%. Its affected just about every county in Florida."

For vaccinations, the Pinellas County Health Department is accepting appointments.

You can also go to one of many local pharmacies.

The Pasco County Department of Health website will show testing locations, which include urgent care and clinics.

The department of health offers vaccinations at two locations, one on each side of the county.

http://pasco.floridahealth.gov/programs-and-services/infectious-disease-services/COVID-19/index.html


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Options for COVID-19 vaccinations and testing in the Bay area - ABC Action News
This Texas city has a relatively high vaccination rate, but it’s still fighting to get shots in arms amid rising cases – CNN

This Texas city has a relatively high vaccination rate, but it’s still fighting to get shots in arms amid rising cases – CNN

August 4, 2021

"I want to get our life back together," Camila, who will soon start eighth grade, told CNN. She wants to go out in public without a mask, she says. She wants to go on family vacations and wants to go to school safely in person, saying she has struggled with remote learning. "And I also want to be safe."

Camila was vaccinated at a site set up by Austin Public Health in Del Valle, Texas, on the edge of the capital city, in partnership with the nonprofit Emanicpet, which offers routine health care for dogs. Officials were there looking for people like Camila, who are unvaccinated but willing to change that.

With the pace of inoculations slowing, Austin is scrambling to get more shots in arms, dedicating personnel at sites across the city -- vet clinics, churches, rec centers, construction sites, homeless shelters -- just to vaccinate 10, 15 or 20 people at a time.

But it's not enough to stem the rising tide of infections and hospitalizations driven by the Delta variant, officials say.

Austin Mayor Steve Adler told CNN the county and the city had done well, and he touted the high rate of vaccinations. "Which just goes to show this Covid variant, Delta, is just that much more infectious and having that much greater impact," he said.

Early on, thousands of people a day were getting vaccinated in Austin, Dr. Desmar Walkes, Austin-Travis County health authority, told CNN. Vaccines were in such high demand that some people initially had to be turned away.

Nowadays? "We're looking maybe at 50 to 100 people depending on how many strike teams we have out on any given day," Walkes said.

"Our ICU capacity is reaching a critical point where the level of risk to the entire community has significantly increased, and not just to those who are needing treatment for COVID," Walkes said Friday in a statement. "If we fail to come together as a community now, we jeopardize the lives of loved ones who might need critical care."

Added Adler: "It is beyond frustrating that it's so hard to get vaccines in people's arms today when we were giving thousands of them out just a couple months ago. And we're doing everything we can."

Now, the "labor intensive effort" involves "virtually going door-to-door," he said.

"We're trying to find people where they are," Adler said. "We're working through trusted voices and communities, working with churches and faith institutions, faith leaders."

Camila admits she was nervous about getting a shot. She says she initially didn't want to get vaccinated. But she was the last member of her family to need it -- everyone else had been vaccinated.

So, she decided to listen to someone she trusts -- her mom, who told her the vaccine was the best path to a return to normalcy.

"My mom was talking to me in the car, and she was like, 'You know, if you want the world to get better, we need to help,'" Camila said. "Everyone needs to get vaccinated."

'An epidemic among the unvaccinated'

After weeks of progress, Covid-19 cases are rising rapidly in states across the country. In Texas, the seven-day moving average was 9,789 new daily cases on Monday, according to a CNN analysis of Johns Hopkins University data. That's way up from July 1, when the seven-day moving average of new daily cases was about 1,500.

"This Delta variant has really caused an alarming increase in the number of cases," Walkes told CNN. "We've gone from 30 cases a day to almost 400 cases a day in a matter of almost two-and-a-half, three weeks."

"That's because we have still a lot of people who are unvaccinated," she said.

Nearly everyone in the city's hospitals aren't vaccinated, Adler told CNN.

"Almost everyone in our ICUs are people who are not vaccinated. We have no one on ventilators in our city that are vaccinated," he said. "This is an epidemic among the unvaccinated."

But on the front lines, Adler said, that sort of messaging is "making it harder for us to get the behaviors we want, when our governor is not ready to actually join in a way that sends an unambiguous message to the community about the need to get vaccinated and about the ability and importance for people to wear masks while infection levels are real high."

Targeting the 'movable middle'

Health officials are focused now on what Walkes describes as the "movable middle" -- people who are looking for more information or need their concerns to be addressed on a one-on-one basis.

So-called strike teams are mobilizing in communities to find these individuals where they live, work and play, Walkes says.

But that means there's more manpower being spent to vaccinate fewer people. And officials also have to fight misinformation, convincing people the vaccines are safe and effective, she says.

"Every person that we can vaccinate is another person that's not going to be sick," she said. "The vaccines work to prevent severe illness, hospitalization and death."

The efforts Austin has made to increase vaccinations is a pattern playing out across the state.

The Texas Department of State Health Services will award $10 million to local organizations promoting vaccines, like educational agencies, faith-based organizations, community coalitions and nonprofits, it has announced.

"Particularly, we're seeing parents bringing kids out to get vaccinated," Walkes said, "because we're weeks away from reopening school, and we want to do what we can to keep our kids safe."


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This Texas city has a relatively high vaccination rate, but it's still fighting to get shots in arms amid rising cases - CNN
PeaceHealth to require all caregivers to get COVID-19 vaccine – KPTV.com

PeaceHealth to require all caregivers to get COVID-19 vaccine – KPTV.com

August 4, 2021

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PeaceHealth to require all caregivers to get COVID-19 vaccine - KPTV.com
UConn has approved more than 500 students for nonmedical COVID-19 vaccine exemptions, drawing criticism from a top Connecticut health care official -…

UConn has approved more than 500 students for nonmedical COVID-19 vaccine exemptions, drawing criticism from a top Connecticut health care official -…

August 4, 2021

The filings, first reported by Connecticut Public, are part of an ongoing lawsuit between the UConn Board of Trustees and several students and families who argue the universitys policy requiring COVID-19 vaccines for students violates state and federal law, as well as the U.S. Constitution. But the state attorney generals office argues the accusers lack standing to sue, since they have either received a vaccine exemption or never sought to get one in the first place.


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Utahns won’t be forced to get COVID-19 vaccine, but there may be consequences, governor says – KSL.com

Utahns won’t be forced to get COVID-19 vaccine, but there may be consequences, governor says – KSL.com

August 4, 2021

Gov. Spencer Cox speaks during a COVID-19 briefing at the Women's Pavilion at St. Mark's Hospital in Millcreek on Tuesday. He said while Utah won't ever force you to get a vaccine if you don't want one, you should be prepared to face consequences if you remain unvaccinated. (Scott G Winterton, Deseret News)

SALT LAKE CITY Gov. Spencer Cox made it clear Tuesday Utah won't be joining New York City in requiring COVID-19 vaccinations to eat inside restaurants or work out at a gym, but the state will provide N95 masks to schoolchildren under 12, who are too young to get the shots.

As New York City became the first in the nation to impose a vaccine requirement for public activities, Cox warned there may be other consequences for Utahns who won't get vaccinated, including hospitalization and death, sharing stories of people who thought they didn't need the shots until they contracted the deadly virus.

"While we've made a collective decision as a nation and as a state, a decision which I support, that the government will not force people to get the vaccine. That doesn't mean we're free from our consequence, that others won't choose to require vaccines," including employers and event organizers, he said.

Cox also told reporters at a news conference held at St. Mark's Hospital in Millcreek he wasn't sure he would follow new advice from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention that all Americans wear face coverings in hot spots, even if they are fully vaccinated, to slow the spread of the highly contagious delta variant of the virus.

"I've got to be honest with you, I don't know if I'm one of those people. I'm really tired. I'm really done with it. And I'm not real excited to have to sacrifice to protect someone who doesn't seem to care. But I'm glad there are some people willing to do that. Thank you," said the governor, who is fully vaccinated.

He pointed out that both the state and school districts are prohibited by the Utah Legislature's actions from mandating masks in schools, but said he is working to distribute the medical-grade masks to children not yet eligible for the COVID-19 vaccine.

The governor's plan was labeled "a great initiative" later Tuesday by Dr. Angela Dunn, executive director of the Salt Lake County Health Department. Dunn, who until this spring helped lead the state's COVID-19 response, called last month for children until 12 to return to school in masks.

Although Dunn said then any attempt to make masks mandatory in schools would be "futile" because of the limits state lawmakers put on other entities to impose any COVID-19 restrictions, opponents of requiring children to wear masks in schools filled a Salt Lake County Council work session.

Council members heard more than two hours of often emotional testimony from the crowd before Dunn gave a presentation that included a projection showing that without masks and other prevention measures, there would be an estimated 60 cases per day, with an average of one child being hospitalized with the virus every other day.

She said she was not putting forth a mask mandate in schools, which could be overturned by the County Council or state lawmakers. Instead, Dunn said, she wants to "continue this discussion" about keeping children under 12 safe from the virus.

Cox said that more than masks, getting adults vaccinated against COVID-19 is the best way to protect children under 12 from the virus. He said states that have very low vaccination rates are seeing more young children becoming seriously ill after catching the coronavirus.

The governor's announcement follows another new recommendation from the CDC, that everyone in K-12 schools nationwide wear masks. The reasoning behind the new recommendations is that the delta variant of the virus spreads more easily to even the fully vaccinated, although breakthrough cases are still rare and usually mild.

Monday, the Utah Department of Health released a new set of guidelines to help schools deal with COVID-19 that encourages those 12 and older who are eligible to be vaccinated to get the shots as well as mask-wearing indoors at schools.

Vaccinations are what's key, Cox said, to stopping the latest surge, which is threatening to fill Utah hospitals at levels not seen since cases rose dramatically after the start of the 2020 school year and continued to climb through the Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year's holidays.

Greg Bell, head of the Utah Hospital Association, said at the news conference that when the delta variant began to take hold last month, the state's intensive care units went from 10% COVID-19 patients to 30% as of Sunday on top of an already busy summer trauma season.

"We can't handle it," Bell said, citing burnout among many in the medical profession on top of facilities at near-capacity. His "grandfatherly" advice to the unvaccinated? "The wrong decision could kill you and you won't know until it's too late."

The governor said he's hopeful the state is nearing the crest of the cases "but nobody can tell me when this is going to turn around ... we need that vaccination rate to go up. Less than half of all Utahns are fully vaccinated, meaning it's been two weeks or more since their final dose.

Utah officials, including those from local and public health agencies, "are doing all we can to keep you safe. But all we can do is make recommendations," Cox said. "Now the responsibility is in your hands to get vaccinated. Together we can save lives and help health care workers."

Utah Gov. Spencer Cox, along with Lt. Gov. Deidre Henderson, Utah Hospital Association president Greg Bell and Utah Department of Health Deputy Director Dr. Michelle Hofmann, spoke at a news conference Tuesday. Watch the replay of the event below.

He did offer what he termed good news, that Utah's vaccination numbers are starting to go up a bit, but "not nearly enough." The governor said Utahns should listen to the voices they trust, including the Catholic pope and the president of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, who both praised the vaccines.

And, Cox said, "if politics is your religion, then believe Donald Trump, who was so instrumental in getting this vaccine to us, who got the vaccine himself and has encouraged others to get the vaccine." He also suggested Democrats turn to President Joe Biden, who just met his July 4th goal of 70% of the nation's adults getting at least one dose.

"It's one of those rare things that so many people can agree on, from different walks of life, from different races, from different religions," the governor said. "This is here to save lives. We don't have to be going through this again right now if you will just please, please, please get the vaccine."

Lt. Gov. Deidre Henderson said she still struggles with shortness of breath and other long-term effects from having COVID-19 a year ago, before vaccines were available. As Utah's case numbers rise again, Henderson told reporters, she's been "feeling a little bit of unease and nervousness and distrust" because of her experience.

"The thing about COVID is, you just never know. You never know who it's going to affect and how. You never know if you're going to be one of the lucky ones and there are a lot of lucky ones or if you're going to be one of the ones who are unlucky," she said. "I do consider myself one of the lucky ones, even though I was very sick."

Henderson said vaccines were "supposed to be the tool that fixed all of this for all of us and somehow, that has been politicized and somehow, we've got a large portion of the population that has chosen not to get vaccinated." She said she believes their minds won't be changed.

Tuesday, the Utah Department of Health reported 728 new COVID-19 cases and five additional deaths from the virus since Monday. The department's deputy director, Dr. Michelle Hofmann, said Utah has the nation's ninth-highest case incidence rate, at 136 per 100,000 people per week.

Hofmann said since July 1, Utah COVID-19 cases have increased 5% and hospitalizations, 7%, with the 12th highest hospitalization rate and 11th highest percent positivity rate in the country but rank 33rd for the number of residents who are fully vaccinated.

The rolling seven-day average for positive tests is 877 per day, and 6,018 people were tested and 10,576 tests conducted since the last report. The rolling seven-day average for percent positivity of tests is 10.6% when all results are included, and 15% when multiple tests by an individual are excluded.

The daily increase in vaccinations is 6,830 doses.

Currently, there are 395 people hospitalized in Utah with COVID-19. Utah's death toll has reached 2,471 with the five deaths reported Tuesday. They are:


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List of places in Minnesota that now require the COVID-19 vaccine – Bring Me The News

List of places in Minnesota that now require the COVID-19 vaccine – Bring Me The News

August 4, 2021

The rapidly spreading delta variant has sparked a rapid upturn in COVID-19 infections and hospitalizations. Federal health officials now recommend the use of face masks in indoor public spaces in areas with substantial or high levels of transmission, regardless of vaccination status.

In response, many businesses, organizations, venues, events and buildings are updating their own COVID-19 protocols.

Here is a running list of those that have announced a vaccine requirement with the dates they announced the requirement in parentheses.

Carleton College (announced April 28)Students, faculty and staff must be fully vaccinated by Aug. 1.

Gustavus Adolphus College (May 18)The college is requiring students get vaccinated, and strongly encouraging faculty and staff to do so as well.

Hamline University (July 16)Calling the mandate "necessary" to return to normal, Hamline's president announced all students, staff and faculty will be required to be vaccinated for the fall semester.

Macalester College (April 23)Students and employees who are on campus must be fully vaccinated by Aug. 2.

Minnesota College of Art and Design (May 11)All students, faculty and staff who are on campus must be fully vaccinated by Aug. 1. The fall semester will also begin with a six-week indoor masking requirement.

Mitchell Hamline School of Law (May 17)Anyone on campus for the fall semester must be vaccinated by Aug. 1.

St. Catherine UniversityAll students, faculty, staff and residents age 12 and up will need to complete their vaccine series by Aug. 16, 2021.

St. Olaf College (June 15)All students, faculty and staff must be fully vaccinated by the start of the fall semester.

University of St. Thomas (Aug. 2)Students, staff and faculty must be vaccinated before returning to campus. The university had previously been offering incentives, but not mandating the vaccine.

Not requiring University of Minnesota Twin CitiesThe university is not requiring vaccinations at this point, though has implemented an indoor mask mandate.

Not requiring University of Minnesota statewide campusesJust like in the Twin cities, the university is not requiring vaccinations at this point, though has implemented an indoor mask mandate.

First Avenue (Aug. 2)As of Aug. 2, guests must prove they have been vaccinated for COVID-19, or show they have recently tested negative. Masks are recommended for unvaccinated.

Walmart (Aug. 1)Some traveling managers and corporate employees, but not guests or store employees, are required to get a vaccine. In counties with high or substantial transmission levels, Walmart requires customers to wear a face mask while in the store.

Follow Bring Me The News on Twitter for the latest breaking news

Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis (July 8)The Minnesota Fed is requiring all current employeesto get the COVID vaccine by the end of August.

Allina Health (Aug. 3)

Vaccinations for both COVID-19 and influenza will be required for staff, volunteers, students and vendors by Oct. 1, with some exemptions for medical issues and religious concerns.

Episcopal Homes in St. Paul (July 31)All staff at the senior living home must be vaccinated by Sept. 1.

Mayo Clinic (July 26)The Mayo Clinic is requiring employees to get vaccinated, but it will not fire those who don't. Instead, employees who do not get the vaccine will have to complete education modules, as well as wear a face mask at all times and socially distance while on campus.

M Health Fairview (Aug. 3)

Vaccines for both COVID-19 and influenza required in staff, students, volunteers, and vendors by October 31.

Sanford Health (July 22)Sanford Health is requiring all employees to get the vaccineand report it by Nov. 1.

VA Health System (July 26)

All VA health care workers will be required to be vaccinated by the middle of September, or they will have to undergo weekly testing.


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Poll: Nearly two-thirds of Mainers support mandating COVID-19 vaccine – Bangor Daily News

Poll: Nearly two-thirds of Mainers support mandating COVID-19 vaccine – Bangor Daily News

August 4, 2021

Nearly two-thirds of Mainers would support a universal COVID-19 vaccine requirement, according to a new survey that comes as a more contagious strain continues to drive up cases here among the states unvaccinated population.

The survey, conducted in June and July by researchers at four universities, found that nearly 66 percent of Maine respondents would somewhat or strongly back a government mandate for the COVID-19 vaccine. The margin of error was 5.6 percent. Support in Maine was just over national levels, with 64 percent of adults across the U.S. favoring a mandate, the survey found.

It was released amid a sharp rise in COVID-19 infections in Maine and nationally. The seven-day average of new cases here sat at 81 as of Monday, compared with 28 just three weeks prior. Cases are at their highest level since February nationwide. Health officials have attributed much of the rise to the proliferation of the delta variant, which may be close to twice as transmissible as original strains of the virus.

The variant is largely infecting unvaccinated people, one reason that cases in Maine remain lower than most of the rest of the U.S. Nearly 79 percent of adults here have received at least one COVID-19 vaccine dose here, according to the latest federal data. Only four states Vermont, Massachusetts, Hawaii and Connecticut have higher rates.

Some leading policymakers though not in Maine have proposed vaccine mandates in recent weeks as current vaccination levels have not been enough to blunt the virus and the rate of new vaccinations has slowed considerably compared to the spring. President Joe Biden is requiring federal employeesto get vaccinated or face strict masking and testing rules, while governors in New York and California have rolled out mandates for certain workers.

Approval for similar mandates varies broadly based on geography and politics, the survey found. State-level approving ratings for a general vaccine mandate ranged from 45.7 percent in conservative Wyoming to 81.1 percent in liberal Massachusetts. Nationwide, 84 percent of Democrats approved compared with 45 percent of Republicans. Seventy-three percent of urban residents supported a mandate compared with 53 percent of rural residents.

Support for making the vaccine required in Maine is lower than several other highly vaccinated New England states. Along with Massachusetts, Vermont and Connecticut both saw more than 70 percent of adults favoring a mandate, the survey found.

The majority support in Maine still fits with the states recent electoral history. In March 2020, Maine voters overwhelmingly rejected a bid to overturna state law that eliminated religious and philosophical exemptions to vaccine mandates for public school students. Seventy-three percent of voters favored upholding the law, although the referendum took place on the same day alongside a competitive Democratic presidential primary.

State officials here have given little indication so far that they are considering a vaccine mandate, however. Maine Center for Disease Control and Prevention Director Nirav Shah said earlier this summer that the state was working on education to increase vaccination rates among health care workers, saying he preferred to start with the carrot, rather than the stick.

Mandates are more likely to come from businesses or institutions. In the survey, Mainers were slightly more supportive of vaccine requirements for boarding a flight or for students returning to college in the fall, compared with a mandate for the general population.

Northern Light Health, the states largest hospital system, announced Monday that it will require staff to get vaccinatedonce the U.S. Food and Drug Administration approves a vaccine for full use. The University of Maine system has indicated the same policy, while several private colleges are already requiring students to get the vaccine before they can return to campus in the fall.

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Poll: Nearly two-thirds of Mainers support mandating COVID-19 vaccine - Bangor Daily News
Barbie debuts doll in likeness of British COVID-19 vaccine developer – Reuters UK

Barbie debuts doll in likeness of British COVID-19 vaccine developer – Reuters UK

August 4, 2021

LONDON, Aug 4 (Reuters) - British coronavirus vaccine developer Sarah Gilbert has many science accolades to her credit but now shares an honor with Beyonce, Marilyn Monroe and Eleanor Roosevelt: a Barbie doll in her likeness.

Gilbert, a 59-year-old professor at Oxford University and co-developer of the Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine, is one of six women in the COVID-19 fight who have new Barbies modeled after them.

Toy maker Mattel Inc (MAT.O) is recognizing them with a line of Barbie "role model" dolls.

Gilbert's Barbie shares her long auburn hair and oversized black glasses, and she wears a sensible navy blue pantsuit and white blouse.

"It's a very strange concept having a Barbie doll created in my likeness," Gilbert said in an interview for Mattel.

"I hope it will be part of making it more normal for girls to think about careers in science."

Among the honorees are emergency room nurse Amy O'Sullivan who treated the first COVID-19 patient at the Wycoff Hospital in Brooklyn, New York, and Audrey Cruz, frontline doctor in Las Vegas who fought discrimination, according to Mattel.

Other dolls include Chika Stacy Oriuwa, a Canadian psychiatry resident at the University of Toronto who battled systemic racism in healthcare, and Brazilian biomedical researcher Jaqueline Goes de Jesus, who led sequencing of the genome of a COVID-19 variant in Brazil, the company said.

Lastly a doll honors Kirby White, an Australian doctor who pioneered a surgical gown that can be washed and reused by frontline workers during the pandemic.

Gilbert chose nonprofit organization WISE (Women in Science & Engineering), dedicated to inspiring girls to consider a career in STEM, to receive a financial donation from the toy maker.

Reporting by Lisa Giles-Keddie; Editing by Cynthia Osterman

Our Standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.


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Covid-19 vaccine: Can employers and the government legally require it? – Vox.com

Covid-19 vaccine: Can employers and the government legally require it? – Vox.com

August 4, 2021

In 1902, the city of Cambridge, Massachusetts, faced a smallpox outbreak. In response, the local health board ordered the citys residents over the age of 21 to be vaccinated against this disease. Violators faced a $5 fine.

After a local pastor was fined for violating this vaccine mandate, he appealed his case all the way to the Supreme Court. The Court told him to pound sand in Jacobson v. Massachusetts (1905).

The liberty secured by the Constitution of the United States to every person within its jurisdiction does not import an absolute right in each person to be, at all times and in all circumstances, wholly freed from restraint, Justice John Marshall Harlan wrote for the Court. He added that there are manifold restraints to which every person is necessarily subject for the common good.

Under Jacobson, state and local governments though not necessarily the federal government may mandate vaccines for nearly all of their residents.

That decision has obvious relevance today. We now have multiple vaccines against Covid-19 that are both safe and shockingly effective, and they are available for free for all Americans. Yet the pandemic continues to rage in the United States because a large minority of Americans have yet to get a shot. While some people may face legitimate obstacles, others are just obstinate. Policymakers and other leaders, in other words, may need to take a page from Cambridges early 20th-century health board.

Some already are. Many of the first mandates are from employers: The state of New York, for example, recently announced that all of its employees will have to either get vaccinated or submit to weekly coronavirus testing, and President Joe Biden plans to impose similar requirements on federal employees.

Many private employers also require vaccines Google, for example, will insist that its employees be vaccinated in order to enter the companys offices. More than 600 colleges and universities require at least some of their students, faculty, and staff to be vaccinated.

These sorts of mandates will undoubtedly trigger lawsuits from vaccine resisters. In some cases, individuals with religious objections to vaccines or people with disabilities that preclude them from being vaccinated will have strong legal claims much like schoolchildren who can already seek exemptions from schools vaccination requirements if they have religious objections.

But, assuming that the courts follow existing law and assuming that Republican state governments do not enact new laws prohibiting employers from disciplining workers who refuse to be vaccinated most challenges to employer-imposed vaccination requirements should fail.

Under Jacobson, moreover, states should be free to order everyone within their borders to be vaccinated against Covid-19, although its far from clear whether the federal government could do the same.

Of course, there is no guarantee that the Roberts Court, which is eager to impose limits on public health officials and not especially bothered about overruling precedents, will follow Jacobson if a state does enact a vaccine mandate. But there is good reason to believe that it will. Even Justice Neil Gorsuch, one of the most conservative members of the current Court, recently described Jacobson as a modest decision that didnt seek to depart from normal legal rules during a pandemic.

The bottom line, in other words, is that, under existing law, numerous institutions within the United States may require their employees and, in some cases, their citizens to be vaccinated against Covid-19.

Employment relationships in the United States are typically at-will, meaning that an employee can be fired at any time and for any reason, even if that reason is completely arbitrary. If you have an at-will relationship with your employer, your boss can fire you because they dont like your haircut. Or because they dont like what you had for breakfast last Tuesday.

Or, for that matter, because you refuse to get a Covid-19 vaccine.

The general rule, in other words, is that your employer can fire you for any reason unless some outside legal force a federal or state law, or maybe an individual or collective bargaining contract between you and your employer intervenes to give you additional job security. And there is no federal law prohibiting employers from requiring nearly all of their employees to get vaccinated.

That said, some federal laws may allow a small number of workers to seek an exemption from their employers decision to mandate vaccination.

Neither of these laws prevents an employer from requiring all employees physically entering the workplace to be vaccinated for Covid-19, according to the EEOCs guidance on Covid-19 in the workplace. But employees may be entitled to a reasonable accommodation if their religion or disability precludes them from getting vaccinated, so long as this accommodation does not pose an undue hardship on the operation of the employers business.

Some examples of reasonable accommodations that might be offered to certain employees include requiring these workers to wear a face mask, work at a social distance from coworkers or non-employees, work a modified shift, get periodic tests for COVID-19, be given the opportunity to telework, or finally, accept a reassignment. But not every employee will be entitled to each of these accommodations, even if they are protected by a law like the ADA or the Civil Rights Act.

The specific accommodation will depend on an individual employees job duties someone who does work that can only be done at a particular job site, for example, may not be allowed to telework. And employers are not required to employ people who cannot do their job even with reasonable accommodations.

It should be noted that some states may have existing laws that place additional restrictions on employers. And theres always a risk that Republican state lawmakers will pass new laws prohibiting employers from requiring their employees to be vaccinated. But the law should permit most employers to require nearly all of their workers to get vaccinated.

So long as Jacobson remains good law, state and local governments may require their residents to get vaccinated. Indeed, states currently require their residents to get a wide range of vaccines by mandating that children be vaccinated before entering school or certain forms of child care. The only reason why a Covid-19 vaccine mandate would need to apply to adults is that the virus recently emerged, so most Americans were well past school age when they needed a vaccine.

That said, the Supreme Court will likely permit some individuals to seek exemptions from a Covid-19 vaccine mandate. Ever since Justice Amy Coney Barrett gave conservatives a 6-3 majority on the Court last fall, the Court has been extraordinarily aggressive in granting religious exemptions to Covid-related public health orders.

Federal law also restricts state governments ability to regulate people with disabilities; the ADA prohibits state and local governments from discriminating against many people with disabilities. It is likely, in other words, that at least some people will be able to get an exemption from a statewide or citywide vaccine mandate if they have a medical condition that precludes them from being vaccinated.

Another question is whether a state could require non-residents who enter their borders to be vaccinated.

As a general rule, a resident of one state who visits another is subject to the laws of a state they are merely passing through. If a resident of Florida takes a trip to New York, they may be prosecuted by New York officials if they commit a crime in New York. That said, the Supreme Court recognizes a constitutional right of all Americans to travel among the states. So an unvaccinated resident of Florida might claim that this right to travel is violated if New York tells them that they must be vaccinated if they wish to visit.

But theres some recent evidence that even the Roberts Courts right flank is unlikely to smile upon such a claim. Justice Clarence Thomas recently denied relief to a man who claimed that requiring him to wear a mask while flying on a commercial airline violates his right to travel.

To be brief: Neither Congress nor President Biden can likely force citizens to be vaccinated, although the federal government can use financial carrots and sticks to encourage vaccination.

To be longer (and wonkier): In NFIB v. Sebelius (2012), the Courts first major Obamacare case, the Supreme Court imposed a novel new limit on Congresss power. Congress may not use its broad power to regulate the national economy in order to regulate inactivity. If someone does not want to take a particular action, the federal governments ability to require them to take that action is limited.

NFIBs holding on this point, in the words of one very conservative federal judge, had no support in either the text of the Constitution or Supreme Court precedent, but lower courts are required to follow the Supreme Courts decisions even if they are arbitrary or lawless. And NFIB has pretty clear implications for a federal vaccine mandate.

Indeed, this very issue came up during oral arguments in NFIB. Justice Stephen Breyer posed a hypothetical to Michael Carvin, one of two lawyers arguing that the Affordable Care Act is unconstitutional, about what might happen if the Court adopted his proposed legal standard. If it turned out there was some terrible epidemic sweeping the United States, he said, would the federal government have the power to get people inoculated?

Carvins response: No, they couldnt do it.

Yet, even if the courts endorse Carvins reading of the federal governments authority to mandate vaccines, Congress could still use financial incentives to encourage vaccination.

The simplest way to do so would be to pay people to get vaccinated or to offer a tax break to everyone who gets the vaccine. The tax code gives all sorts of benefits to taxpayers who engage in activity that Congress deems desirable ranging from buying a home to having a child to driving an electric vehicle.

Another option is to require unvaccinated people to pay a much higher percentage of their income in federal taxes in order to incentivize them to become vaccinated. Such a policy might elicit some outrage, but its entirely constitutional even under NFIB.

But Congress also has fairly broad authority to attach conditions to federal benefits. It could require everyone who receives health coverage through a federal program such as Medicare, Medicaid, or the Affordable Care Act to become vaccinated if they want to keep those benefits.

One group the federal government could easily impose vaccines on: immigrants. Federal law already requires foreign nationals who apply for an immigration visa or who want to become lawful permanent residents to be vaccinated against certain diseases. The government could add a Covid-19 vaccine to this list.

Having laid out what the law says about vaccine mandates, there is a danger that a judiciary dominated by Republican appointees will ignore that law. As NFIB taught us, the mere fact that a legal argument has no basis in law or precedent is no guarantee that it wont win approval from five justices.

Theres also a risk that a conservative lower court judge well call this hypothetical conservative judge Reed OConnor could issue an injunction blocking any attempt to require people to become vaccinated. Even if this injunction is lawless, and even if it is ultimately vacated by a higher court, that process could take months or even years.

But existing law is clear that employers have broad latitude to require most of their workers to become vaccinated. It is equally clear that state governments may impose vaccination requirements. And, while the federal governments power is probably less broad, it is broad enough to give every American a powerful financial incentive to become vaccinated.

1905, the year Jacobson was handed down, is one of the most infamous years in the Supreme Courts history. It is the same year the Court handed down Lochner v. New York, a now-discredited decision stripping lawmakers of much of their authority to ensure that workers are not exploited. Lochner is now widely taught in law schools as an example of how judges should never, ever behave.

And yet, even most of the right-wing justices who joined the majority in Lochner recognized that striking down a state vaccine mandate would go too far. Even they realized that the government must have the power to protect the public health.

There is good reason to hope, in other words, that the current Supreme Court wouldnt be so reactionary as to strike down a vaccine mandate.


See more here: Covid-19 vaccine: Can employers and the government legally require it? - Vox.com
Coronavirus (COVID-19) Information and Resources – News

Coronavirus (COVID-19) Information and Resources – News

August 4, 2021

Return to Fall 2021

Owl Nation is looking forward to a return to campus for fall 2021. The health and safety of our entire campus community is our top priority and as we prepare to welcome our new and returning students, faculty and staff back to the nest, we will continue to follow the guidance provided by the Centers for Disease Control, the Georgia Department of Public Health, and the University System of Georgia.

As long as they remain asymptomatic, fully vaccinated individuals do not have to quarantine following a known exposure to COVID-19. If you have been fully vaccinated and are identified by the KSU COVID Response Center as a close contact to a confirmed case, please email proof of your vaccination to covidresponse@kennesaw.edu to avoid the quarantine requirement.

During the week of July 24 and July 30, there were 6 reported cases of COVID-19. Please note that this number includes individuals working or studying remotely.

We have established a response team of trained professionals to respond to confirmed COVID-19 cases on campus.

In partnership with Wellstar Health System, KSU began administering vaccines for all faculty, staff and students in January 2021 and will continue to offer vaccines to the campus community at no cost. In addition to the on-campus option, members of the community have received vaccinations at the many off-campus sites available through the state. Therefore, it is impossible for the University to know how many people have been vaccinated. However, the University has and will continue to encourage faculty, staff and students to receive the vaccine on campus or through other providers.

Students, faculty and staff should not be asked about their vaccine status, and students should not be segregated in a classroom or from other instructor-student interactions (office hours, group work, field trips, labs, etc.) based on their vaccination status.

Good mental health and wellbeing are the foundation for your success in college. Being proactive, advocating for what you need and taking steps to build your personal resiliency is easier than ever. Wellbeing@KSU is brought to you by the Division of Student Affairs.

Student appointments and services are available in the following manner (Masks are recommended for in person appointments):

You should direct them to report this information through the KSU self-report form found here. Please be mindful that health information is protected by federal law and that you should not share this information with other employees or students. KSU will follow DPH guidance as it relates to notification of COVID-19 cases on campus.

Pursuant to updated guidance from the University System of Georgia (USG), all vaccinated and unvaccinated individuals are encouraged to continue wearing a face covering while inside campus facilities. Unvaccinated individuals are also strongly encouraged to continue to socially distance while inside campus facilities.

In accordance with USG policy, institutions will be returning to campus in the fall with no social distancing measures required. Faculty, staff and students are strongly encouraged to receive the COVID-19 vaccine.


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Coronavirus (COVID-19) Information and Resources - News