Biden

President Joe Biden speaks from the State Dining Room of the White House in Washington, Friday, Sept. 3, 2021, on the August jobs report. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh)

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Joe Biden has unveiled a new “action plan” plan to confront the COVID-19 surge that’s being driven by the spread of the delta variant. It mandates vaccines for federal workers and contractors and certain health care workers, requires employees at companies with 100 or more workers to be vaccinated or tested weekly, lays the groundwork for a booster shot campaign and recommends that large venues require proof of vaccination or a negative COVID test. The plan also makes recommendations on keeping schools open.

Key parts of the plan:

VACCINE MANDATES

— All federal workers and contractors must get vaccinated, with limited exceptions.

— Private employers with 100 or more workers will have to require them to be vaccinated or tested weekly. Employers must provide paid time off for vaccination.

— About 17 million health care workers in hospitals, clinics and other facilities that accept Medicare and Medicaid payments must get vaccinated.

— Some 300,000 employees of Head Start early childhood education and other federal education programs must get vaccinated.

SCHOOLS AND EVENTS

— Governors are urged to require vaccination for school district employees.

— The federal government will continue to follow through with money for widespread testing in schools.

— Stadiums, concert halls and other venues for large events are urged to require proof of vaccination or negative COVID test.

BOOSTERS

— Federal agencies will lay the groundwork for a smooth booster shot campaign, starting the week of Sep. 20 — if the Food and Drug Administration authorizes or approves the boosters.

MASKS AND TESTING

— Mask requirements will continue for interstate travel and in federal buildings. The Transportation Security Administration will double fines on airline, train and other travelers who refuse to mask up.

— The number of pharmacies offering free testing will be expanded to 10,000.

— Walmart, Amazon and Kroger will offer at-home COVID tests at cost, about a 35% savings for consumers.

COVID CARE

— The Pentagon will double military medical teams helping local hospitals overwhelmed with virus patients.

— Federal agencies will boost shipments of a COVID-19 treatment known as monoclonal antibodies by 50%. Medical teams will be dispatched to help administer the treatments.

ECONOMY

— Top loan amounts for small businesses affected by the pandemic will be increased to $2 million from $500,000 currently.

The mandate for businesses over 100 employees will include the majority of hospitality employers in Southern Nevada.

"This came out of the blue for us today," Emerald Island Casino owner Tim Brooks said. "We didn't know it was coming so it's just another curve or fastball heading our way"

The casino on Water street has about 170 employees, which would put them under the mandate. Between Emerald Island and Rainbow Club Casino, Brooks said about 80 to 90 percent of employees are vaccinated. However he still worries he would lose some workers with the mandate.

"What if we have staff that doesn't want to comply? It will make us probably reach out to an already taxed labor market," Brooks said.

Wynn and MGM are the two major resorts that already require the same rule: get the shot or mandatory weekly testing.

The Culinary Union that represents 60,000 hospitality workers told FOX5 they support stricter COVID-19 vaccine measures.

“it’s the only way we see a full recovery possible,” spokesperson Bethany Khan said. “The Culinary Union will remain vigilant to ensure workers are protected at work and urge hospitality employees to get the COVID-19 vaccine as they are safe, proven, and effective."

Brooks said he hopes there will be more clarity and guidance in the coming weeks.

Copyright 2021 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed without permission.

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(19) comments

guest28520

all of these government actions are for a 0.2% deth rate and a 99.79% survival rate

Paris

Unless you work for the USPS or are an illegal coming across the southern border. This guy is such a sham - like all liberals.

jeezlouise

Demented psychopath is paid to destroy American economy and freedom. He needs to be arrested for treason and executed after conviction.

TrumpBeliever

Nope!

GlWd

Time to just say "No!", everybody. Mandating businesses?? Our economy will never recover. I have never felt such outright contempt for any President since I've been alive that I do for the current one. What an absolutely awful idiot!!!

False!

Could be worst, we could still have Donald in office!

Nevermore

I know those mean tweets just triggered all those liberal tears.

Nevermore

Trump gave us a choice to take the "experimental" vaccine or not. He didn't mandate it like the imbecile in the white house. Oh, and all the postal employees are not mandated to take the vaccine, cause they did such a good job with the mail in ballots. Quid pro quo!

Silvermane

That's factually incorrect, considering all of Trump's successful accomplishments for the country, as opposed to Biden's impressive failures on every front.

Get your TDS under control, little fella.

False!

If you want to talk facts, trump released the taliban FACT

qwerty123

Yes, and Trump's greatest accomplishment was project Warp Speed where he delivered us a safe effective vaccine in record time. To not get vaccinated is to spit in Donald Trump's face and tell him all his hard work was for nothing.

Nevermore

Obiden killed 13 U.S. Service members. Fact!!!! And there is still U.S. citizens left in Afghanistan. Fact!!!!

Paris

Everything you mumble matches your screen name. You chose well.

Nevermore

Stephen King couldn't write a book this far fetched. A senile, pedophile as president. A vice president that slept her way to the top and a virus that shuts down the whole world that has a 99% cure rate.

False!

You don't understand percentages huh?

Nevermore

Talk to me after all the illegals and jihadists get jabbed. None of them seem to be dying like flies.

False!

All refugees are being vaccinated on entry

qwerty123

Yes, the illegal immigrants are dying like flies, look at the surge in California's central valley. Who do you think lives there and picks all the vegetables?

Nevermore

All refugees are being vaccinated on entry: prove it! And illegals are dying like flies. Then why are thousands still crossing our borders illegally just to die!

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