It’s true that the new vaccine mandate is under serious legal scrutiny, and most legal experts expect that even if it’s upheld in the federal appeals court in the next few weeks, it may face additional legal challenges in the future that could lead to delays. But the White House says that employers should prepare for the December 5th deadline that requires employers to gather proof of vaccination and to implement masks for any unvaccinated employees. Even if it’s delayed, most employers will need as much time as possible to gather employee vaccination status and prepare for testing. Nearly all of the industry leaders we’ve spoken with are preparing, at a minimum, to gather proof of vaccination for all of their employees - which they hope will help nudge employees toward getting vaccinated in general, regardless of its legal necessity.
Yes. Case counts (which were dropping) have started to rise in dozens of states, especially in the north. We’re seeing a post-halloween blip and then one that likely follows the cold weather snap across many states. The fifth wave that’s hitting Europe right now, which includes very high case counts, also bodes poorly for the US.
The OSHA ETS doesn’t require that employers track booster doses, but we recommend creating a system where, at the very least, employees can upload new photos of their vaccination card when they get additional booster doses. In the future, if the definition of fully vaccinated chances (as some have suggested it might for J&J, for example), tracking booster doses could be crucial when those changes go into effect. The ZHH / Zedic vaccination tracking system is set up to track boosters to help prepare for these potential changes.
Not as far as we can see. Few of our clients are reporting major volume discounts that they’d expected to see. The bigger issue continues to be availability, and some are seeing some price gouging as a result.
A few weeks ago there were discussions surrounding the high transmission rate, even among the vaccinated, within the household setting. Sharing a home increases the chances of transmission dramatically, since there’s so much repeated exposure, shared bathrooms and kitchens, and other close contact. While breakthrough cases are still much less common than transmission in unvaccinated people, all transmission is more likely if you’re in the same living space as a COVID+ person. But we haven’t heard much about this in the past two weeks, in part because the CDC’s primary focus has been heavily on the new employer vaccine mandate and vaccinating kids. We’ll continue to keep our ear to the ground on this, but we don’t think we’ll hear anything before Thanksgiving.