On September 9, President Biden announced a six-pronged, comprehensive national strategy to combat the COVID-19 Delta Variant:
- Vaccinating the Unvaccinated:
– Under this strategy, the Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) is developing a rule that will require all employers with 100 or more employees to ensure their workforce is fully vaccinated or require any workers who remain unvaccinated to produce a negative test result on at least a weekly basis before coming to work. To continue efforts to ensure that no worker loses a dollar of pay because they get vaccinated, OSHA is developing a rule that will require employers with more than 100 employees to provide paid time off for the time it takes for workers to get vaccinated or to recover if they are under the weather post-vaccination. This requirement will be implemented through the ETS.
– The President also signed an Executive Order directing that employees of contractors that do business with the federal government require vaccination. As part of this effort, the Department of Defense, the Department of Veterans Affairs, the Indian Health Service, and the National Institute of Health will complete implementation of their previously announced vaccination requirements.
– The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) is taking action to require COVID-19 vaccinations for workers in most health care settings that receive Medicare or Medicaid reimbursement, including but not limited to hospitals, dialysis facilities, ambulatory surgical settings, and home health agencies.
- Further Protecting the Vaccinated
- Keeping Schools Safely Open
- Increasing Testing & Requiring Masks
- Protecting our Economic Recovery:
– The President’s plan will help more than 150,000 small businesses by strengthening the COVID Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) program, which provides long-term, low-cost loans. The improvements will allow more business to get greater and more flexible support from the $150 billion in loanable funds still available in the program. The Small Business Administration (SBA) will increase the maximum amount of funding a small business can borrow through this program from $500,000 to $2 million, which can be used to hire and retain employees, purchase inventory and equipment, and pay off higher-interest debt.
– The SBA will offer a 30-day exclusive window of access where only small businesses seeking loans of $500,000 or less will receive awards after the new improved loan product launches.
- Improving Care for those with COVID-19
This is only a brief overview of President Biden’s plan. To review the entire plan, visit whitehouse.gov/covidplan.
Many of these measures and requirements are still being developed by their respective agencies. As information becomes available, we will update this page.