The article below is a top story from this week's ACTION newsletter—Care Providers of Minnesota's weekly newsletter for members. The newsletter focuses on current legislative issues, regulations, long-term care trends, and other Association news. Each Thursday evening, it is delivered to your inbox. To sign up for ACTION, contact Lisa Foss Olson (952-851-2483). To learn more about membership, visit our Become a Member page.

 


President Biden’s “Path out of the Pandemic—COVID-19 Action Plan”



Patti Cullen
By Patti Cullen, CAE  |  September 17, 2021  |  All members



More than 80 million Americans working in the private sector will be required to receive a COVID-19 vaccine or produce a negative test result at least once a week as one portion of President Biden’s six part “Path out of the Pandemic: COVID-19 Action Plan” takes effect.

The new rule, to be developed by the Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety & Health Administration (OSHA), underscores the Biden administration's ramped up efforts to control the virus as cases and hospitalizations largely driven by the Delta variant. OSHA is developing the rule that will require vaccinations or once a week testing for companies with more than 100 employees. President Biden gave a blueprint for these mandates last Thursday, but the details of the rules are still being developed. (Note, several lawsuits were filed hours after the announcement so there will likely be federal legal challenges focused on the private sector authority.)

Once those rules are finalized, Minnesota OSHA, which will enforce the mandate for businesses with 100 or more employees, has 30 days to adopt a standard that is as effective as the one set out by the federal government. According to the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development, there are more than 4,800 businesses and 1.4 million employees that could be impacted by this. 

The Biden administration six-pronged plan to respond to the virus includes efforts to encourage vaccinations and bolster protections for the vaccinated, among other areas.
  • Health care workers at Medicare and Medicaid participating hospitals and other healthcare settings—more than 17 million people—will also be required to get vaccinated
  • The administration is also preparing boosters to start as early as the week of September 20
  • President Biden will sign an executive order requiring most federal employees to get the COVID-19 vaccine, without the option of getting regular testing instead; federal workers will have 75 days from announcement to get shots
  • Urging large entertainment venues to require proof of vaccination or testing for entry
  • Requiring staff in school settings—including at the Head Start programs, youth program personnel at the Department of Defense and at the Bureau of Indian Education-Operated Schools—to be vaccinated
  • Providing funding to school districts to support reopening, including backfilling salaries
  • Bolstering COVID-19 testing, including increasing supply of over-the-counter at-home tests, and reducing the cost of at-home tests by ensuring top manufacturers—Walmart, Amazon, and Kroger—sell at-cost for the next three months
  • Increase in monoclonal antibodies. 
    • The US government shipped an average of approximately 100,000 doses of free monoclonal antibodies per week across July and August, and will increase the pace of shipments by 50% in September
    • Monoclonal antibody treatments have been shown to reduce the risk of hospitalization by up to 70% for unvaccinated people at risk of developing severe disease
    • As hospital systems experience increased COVID-19 cases, many have identified monoclonal antibody treatment as a key tool to improve health outcomes, prevent hospitalizations, and reduce the strain on overburdened hospitals 


Patti Cullen, CAE  |  President/CEO  |   pcullen@careproviders.org  |  952-851-2487



 


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Care Providers of Minnesota is a non-profit membership association with the mission to Empower Members to Performance Excellence. Our 900+ members across Minnesota represent non-profit and for-profit organizations providing services along the full spectrum of post-acute care and long-term services and support. We are the state affiliate for the American Health Care Association/National Center for Assisted Living, and with our national partners we provide solutions for quality care.


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