The Biden administration has made great strides to slow the spread of COVID-19. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration’s (OSHA’s) emergency temporary standard for health care workers, along with OSHA’s vaccination or testing and the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services’ vaccination rules, is a step in the right direction. However, with most of the country still experiencing high rates of COVID-19 transmission and as the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has advised, we need a layered approach to stop the COVID-19 spread, particularly in indoor settings like workplaces.
Vaccines must be coupled with workplace mitigation measures to reduce virus transmission—including improving ventilation, ensuring physical distancing, and providing paid leave when workers are infected and must quarantine. Working people must have a voice in how vaccination and testing policies are implemented. Importantly, the cost of keeping a workplace safe is the employer’s responsibility and should never fall on the worker. As this rule is implemented, we continue to call on the administration to make sure employers step up and meet their responsibilities to ensure workers are protected from COVID-19 exposures in the workplace.
Contact: Carolyn Bobb (202) 637-5018