Biden to announce vaccine mandate, strict testing protocol for federal workers who refuse

·1 min read

WASHINGTON — President Joe Biden is expected to announce Thursday that federal workers will be required to be vaccinated for Covid or abide by stringent protocols, like regular testing and mask wearing, according to administration officials.

No decision has been finalized and further details are expected later this week after a policy review, one of the sources said. The requirements would apply even in communities not experiencing high or substantial spread.

This comes on the heels of new recommendations from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on indoor mask use in areas with high transmission rates after new data suggested fully vaccinated individuals are not just contracting Covid-19, but could also potentially infect others.

Under the plan being discussed, federal employees would have to provide “attestation of vaccination, which means confirming vaccination status or abiding by stringent COVID-19 protocols like mandatory mask wearing,” one of the sources said.

CDC Director Dr. Rochelle Walensky also said the CDC is recommending that all children wear masks when they return to classrooms in the new school year.

The Department of Veterans Affairs announced Monday that all its medical facility employees will be required to be vaccinated against Covid-19, becoming the first federal agency to issue a mandate.

Biden is expected to make the announcement during a scheduled speech Thursday afternoon. An official said that the president would also announce additional efforts and incentives aimed at ramping up the pace of vaccinations as the delta variant spreads.

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