NYC to impose COVID vaccine mandate on private employers

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The move, announced by the city’s mayor, comes amid growing concerns over the spread of the Omicron version.

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All private employers in New York City will be required to mandate COVID-19 vaccinations for their employees by the end of this month, the city’s mayor has announced, calling the measure a “pre-preventive strike” against the potential spread of the Omicron variant. is called.

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During an interview on MSNBC on Monday, Mayor Bill de Blasio said the mandate – set to take effect on December 27 – is aimed at halting the rise in new coronavirus infections during the colder months.

“We have decided to use a retroactive strike to do something really bold in New York City to prevent further development of COVID and the threats it poses,” de Blasio said. “All private sector employers in New York City will be covered by this vaccine mandate by December 27.”

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The move comes as the Omicron variant, first detected in South Africa last month and designated “a variant of concern” by the World Health Organization, has so far been confirmed in at least 17 US states. It’s over

Over the weekend, top infectious disease expert Dr. Anthony Fauci said while early signs of the severity of the Omicron variant are “a bit encouraging”, more information is still needed about the strain.

The United States has recorded more than 49 million cases of the coronavirus, and more than 788,000 deaths, according to data from Johns Hopkins University.

Coronavirus vaccine mandates vary widely among states and cities, with some states opposing any mandates and others requiring shots for government employees or some areas driving particularly high-risk healthcare workers .

But most authorities have not announced a mandate to reach out to the private sector, nor a mandate covering so many people.

The new mandate on private-sector businesses in New York City comes as federal courts temporarily halted an effort by President Joe Biden to implement a similar measure nationally for large companies.

New York City was the epicenter of the COVID-19 infection during the early months of the pandemic [Eduardo Munoz/Reuters]

In New York City, several indicators on Monday showed the spread of COVID-19 was rising, including the percentage of people who tested positive for the virus, according to city data.

Vaccinations are already required for hospital and nursing home workers and city workers, including teachers, police officers and firefighters. The vaccination order for employees of private and religious schools was announced last week.

De Blasio said he expected the new private sector measures to survive any legal challenges. A spokesman for the mayor said the mandate would apply to about 184,000 businesses.

Current COVID-19 regulations in New York City, which has a population of 8.8 million, also include at least one vaccine dose for indoor restaurant dining, entertainment venues and fitness centers.

Under the new rules for indoor dining, entertainment and gyms, two shots will be required for people above the age of 12. De Blasio said a shot would be needed for children between the ages of five and 11, who are not covered by the current mandate.

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