Can Businesses Still Enforce Mask Wearing
“Private businesses can still decide that they want to keep the mask requirements in place they’re still permitted to do that” even for fully vaccinated people, Gable said.
“It’s going to be really difficult for them to tell who is not wearing their masks because their fully vaccinated and who is not wearing their masks because they are just opposed to wearing a mask and, maybe, still posing a risk of spreading the disease to other people.”
Kroger announced Thursday that customers will still be required to wear masks in all of its stores. The company also is offering $100 to employees who take the vaccine. Other major retailers that will continue requiring masks include Starbucks, Target and CVS.
Others, such as Trader Joe’s and Walmart, are letting go of the mask requirements. And the Detroit Tigers that fans won’t have to wear masks outside at Comerica Park or when in their seats.
More:Masks no longer required to watch Detroit Tigers at Comerica Park, beginning May 15
Have You Been Fully Vaccinated
In general, people are considered fully vaccinated: ±
- 2 weeks after their second dose in a 2-dose series, such as the Pfizer or Moderna vaccines, or
- 2 weeks after a single-dose vaccine, such as Johnson & Johnsons Janssen vaccine
If you dont meet these requirements, regardless of your age, you are NOT fully vaccinated. Keep taking all precautions until you are fully vaccinated.
If you have a condition or are taking medications that weaken your immune system, you may not be fully protected even if you are fully vaccinated. You should continue to take all precautions recommended for unvaccinated people until advised otherwise by your healthcare provider.
People with moderately to severely compromised immune systems should receive an additional dose of mRNA COVID-19 vaccine after the initial 2 doses.
Serious Adverse Events Are Rare
The FDA says “serious adverse events, while uncommon , were observed at slightly higher numerical rates in the vaccine study group compared to the saline placebo study group, both overall and for certain specific adverse events occurring in very small numbers,” says the FDA. “These represented common medical events that occur in the general population at similar frequency. Upon further review by FDA, these imbalances do not raise a safety concern, nor do they suggest a causal relationship to vaccination for the vast majority of reported serious adverse events.
Serious adverse events considered by FDA to be plausibly related to the vaccine or vaccination procedure were one case of shoulder injury at the vaccination site and one case of swollen lymph node in the armpit opposite the vaccination arm.”
So barring any allergies, get vaccinated when it becomes available to you, and to protect your life and the lives of others, don’t visit any of these 35 Places You’re Most Likely to Catch COVID.
Eat This, Not That!
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To Qualify For The Fully Vaccinated Traveller Exemption You Must:
- be eligible to enter Canada on the specific date you enter
- have no signs or symptoms of COVID-19
- have received the full series of an accepted COVID-19 vaccine or a combination of accepted vaccines
- have received your last dose at least 14 days prior to the day you enter Canada
- Example: if your last dose was anytime on Thursday July 1st, then Friday July 16th would be the first day that you meet the 14 day condition
- upload your proof of vaccination in ArriveCAN
- meet all other entry requirements
‘no Masks For The Vaccinated’: What The Latest Us Mask Guidance Means
US health officials have announced that vaccinated Americans no longer need to wear masks or social distance in most indoor settings – but many Americans remain confused as Covid-19 rules just became more complicated.
Last week, the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention changed their guidance on face masks, saying that fully vaccinated people no longer need them in most places.
It comes just over a year since the CDC first recommended that Americans cover their face and nose when in public and as new case weekly averages fall to lows not seen since last summer.
So far, nearly two dozen states, including the former global hot spot of New York, have started to change their virus mitigation rules to reflect the new CDC guidance.
Here’s what the latest changes mean.
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Walmart Drops Mask Mandate
Walmart, the largest U.S. retailer, said in a memo to employees that as of Friday vaccinated customers can shop without masks. Fully vaccinated employees will be able to work without masks as of May 18, although workers who haven’t been fully vaccinated will still need to wear masks, it added. The company also said it is giving $75 bonuses to vaccinated workers as “a thank you for getting vaccinated,” but employees will need to provide proof of vaccination to get the money.
“We will continue to request that non-vaccinated customers and members wear face coverings in our stores and clubs. We will update the signage in our facilities to reflect this,” the memo to both Walmart and Sam’s Club employees said.
Target hesitated requiring masks and social distancing in stores for guests and team members last week before dropping its mask mandate for customers and employees Monday.
“Target will continue to require all of our coronavirus safety measures in all stores, including masks and social distancing, while we review guidance from the CDC and re-evaluate the guidance we offer our team and guests,” a spokesperson said in a statement to CBS MoneyWatch Friday.
Starbucks said that in light of the CDC’s new guidance, beginning Monday, facial coverings are optional for vaccinated customers unless local regulations require them by law. Starbucks employees must continue to mask up.
Know What’s Happening In Your Community
One thing is clear: The three federally authorized vaccines are very effective at preventing illness caused by a coronavirus infection. And so far, their defense has proven strong against the emerging variants of concern, including the delta variant, which is now the dominant strain of virus circulating in the U.S. Still, no vaccine is a 100 percent sure thing.
One way to think about the vaccines is like a very good raincoat, says Leana Wen, M.D., an emergency physician and visiting professor of health policy and management at George Washington University’s Milken Institute School of Public Health. If it’s drizzling outside, you’re going to be fine you will be protected and not get wet. However, if you keep going in and out of thunderstorms, at some point you could get wet.
For the latest coronavirus news and advice go to AARP.org/coronavirus.
In this analogy, the weather represents the amount of virus circulating in your community. If vaccination rates are high in your area and the number of new COVID-19 cases is still relatively low, the rain is less of a threat. However, many areas of the country, especially where vaccination rates are low, are seeing a spike in new cases, likely caused by the delta variant. When there’s a lot of virus around you, think of that as being in a thunderstorm, Wen says.
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A Major Nurses Union Condemns The Cdcs New Mask Advice For Vaccinated People
The nations largest union of registered nurses condemned the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on Saturday for lifting mask recommendations for vaccinated people and called on the agency to do the right thing and revise its guidance.
Bonnie Castillo, a registered nurse and executive director of the union, National Nurses United, said the most recent guidance, which was issued on Thursday and rolled back mask recommendations and other precautions for those who are fully vaccinated, is not based on science. Ms. Castillo said the new guidance would jeopardize the health of frontline workers and the general public and would disproportionately harm people of color.
Many major U.S. retailers have dropped mask requirements since Thursday, effectively moving to an honor system in which they trust that only vaccinated people will bare their faces.
This is a huge blow to our efforts at confronting this virus and the pandemic, said Ms. Castillo, whose union represents 170,000 nurses nationwide. The mask is another lifesaving layer of protection for workers, she said.
Although vaccination is vitally important to stopping the viruss spread, she noted that millions of Americans still had not been vaccinated. Less than half of the population has had a single dose of vaccine, and less than 40 percent are fully vaccinated.
How Do We Know Whether People Without Masks Indoors Are Vaccinated
NPR’s Rachel Martin talks to Dr. Leana Wen, emergency physician and public health professor at George Washington University, about the CDC’s new mask guidelines for people vaccinated against COVID-19.
RACHEL MARTIN, HOST:
Let’s bring in another voice now. Dr. Leana Wen is a public health professor at George Washington University, and she has got some concerns about the new CDC policy. She joins us on Skype. Dr. Wen, thanks for being here.
LEANA WEN: Happy to be with you.
WEN: Well, I found them to be stunning because the CDC seems to have gone from one extreme of overcaution to another of basically throwing caution out the window. I mean, just two weeks ago, they issued guidance, basically saying that people who are fully vaccinated even have to be wearing masks outdoors in some settings. And it wasn’t clear whether colleagues who are fully vaccinated can be going into the same conference room and not wear masks around one another. So they went from that to totally saying you don’t even need masks at all or distancing basically in nearly all settings. And look, I understand the intention and actually I’ve been one of the voices pushing the CDC to make clear that vaccines are really effective.
WEN: Thank you.
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How Will People Know Who’s Been Vaccinated And Who Hasn’t
For the most part, you won’t.
“It’s impossible in terms of a business and its customers,” said Peter Jacobson, professor emeritus of health law and policy at the University of Michigan School of Public Health. “There’s no way to know. We’re not carrying around our vaccination cards. We don’t have a scarlet V on our foreheads.”
That could make the weeks ahead pretty messy, said Lance Gable, an associate professor at the Wayne State University Law School.
“It’s going to create a real challenge for a lot of people because you don’t know that the person who comes into your business or the person you see on the street … whether they’ve been vaccinated or not,” Gable said.
More:Get ready for millions of unmasked Americans, vaccinated or not | Opinion
For families with kids who are not yet eligible for vaccines and for people who have compromised immune systems, it’s a tricky time to be out in the world.
“They’re not going to know if the person walking next to them or the person who is in the grocery line with them is not wearing a mask because they’re vaccinated and are safe or because they’re refusing to wear a mask and are not vaccinated and therefore pose a risk,” he said. “It creates a lot of complexity, and … I think it’s going to raise some significant problems.”
People could become confrontational.
The Military Commander Overseeing Canadas Vaccination Drive Has Quit And Other News From Around The World
The senior military commander who was appointed by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau of Canada last fall to oversee the distribution of Covid-19 vaccines in the country has quit that post and is now the subject of a military investigation, officials said late Friday.
In a brief, joint statement, the Department of National Defense and the Canadian Armed Forces announced Maj. Gen. Dany Fortins resignation but offered no details about the nature of the investigation. The department declined to comment.
Before General Fortin became Canadas vaccine coordinator, he led military missions to help workers in long-term care homes that were overwhelmed by Covid infections. He is a former commander of the NATO mission in Iraq.
General Fortin is now the third senior leader in the Canadian Armed Forces under scrutiny. Adm. Art McDonald stepped aside as chief of the defense staff, the countrys top military job, in February after the military police opened an investigation into unspecified accusations against him. The same month, the military police also began investigating the previous chief of the defense staff, Gen. Jonathan Vance, who held the post until his retirement from the army in January.
General Vance has been accused publicly of inappropriate behavior toward female subordinates. He has denied wrongdoing.
In other news, compiled with the help of wire services:
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Walmart Responds To Cdc Guidance Updating Mask Policy And Urging Vaccinations For Associates
To: All U.S.-based associates From: Donna Morris, Chief People Officer Dr. Cheryl Pegus, Executive Vice President, Health and Wellness
As the COVID-19 pandemic continues, the health and well-being of our associates continues to be our top priority.
This week, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention updated their guidance regarding wearing masks due to the concerning levels of transmission of the Delta variant of the coronavirus. We remain focused on guidance issued by health experts, including the CDC, as well as state and local health departments. We will continue to follow the latest CDC guidance, which includes fully vaccinated people wearing masks in public indoor settings in areas of substantial or high transmission, effective immediately.
We continue to watch with deep concern the developments of the pandemic and the spread of variants, especially the Delta variant. We know vaccinations are our solution to drive change. We are urging you to get vaccinated and want to see many more of you vaccinated. We realize there is a small number of our associates who cannot get vaccinated due to medical issues or religious reasons.
We want to make the decision to get vaccinated as easy as possible:
Business travel should be limited to business-critical travel only. Travel to stores, clubs, DCs and FCs is allowed. Please continue to look for ways to participate in supplier meetings, conferences, etc., virtually.
No Universal Standard Yet
President Joe Biden’s chief medical adviser, Dr. Anthony Fauci, this week said the U.S. government will not mandate so-called vaccine passports for travel and other business activities. Anything resembling a digital pass is likely to be developed by the private sector, he added.
Some experts lament that the government did not develop a standardized, digital proof of vaccination earlier.
“I think the U.S. government should have thought of a digital app early on and had it ready to go so that it activated when a person got a vaccine,” Adalja said. “Now we’re having to scramble to come up with a solution that’s digital and secure so people don’t have to worry about carrying that card around.”
Ideally, one’s vaccination status would be integrated and stored with other personal travel information that’s reflected in programs like Global Entry and TSA PreCheck that ease the process of traveling through airport security.
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Can Business Owners Require Employees To Disclose Their Vaccination Status
“The simple answer, from a management standpoint, is you can definitely ask your employees” about their vaccination status, Jacobson said.
“Certainly, the employers can ask about vaccination and ask for proof of vaccination to ensure that the employer is properly following CDC guidelines and to protect other employees and the general public. There’s no other way to know.”
Can Businesses Require Workers To Get Covid
Yes, they can. “There is nothing in the law that prevents” companies from mandating COVID-19 vaccines, Jacobson said. But if a company does require workers to be vaccinated, it could be sued.
“It hasn’t been challenged yet” in the courts, Jacobson said.
Already, some companies require workers to get the annual flu vaccine. But with COVID-19 vaccines being so new, he said, “I think the legal issue is going to be whether or not you consider the vaccines experimental.”
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All three coronavirus vaccines in use in the U.S. have emergency use authorization from the U.S. Food & Drug Administration. They haven’t yet won full federal approval.
For that reason, Jacobson said, he knows of no company that mandates employees to take the COVID-19 vaccines yet.
That may change soon.
Delta Air Lines CEO Ed Bastian said in a CNN interview this week that any new employees the company hires must be fully vaccinated. Some colleges and universities, including the University of Michigan, have enacted policies that require immunization for students who want to live in on-campus housing.
It’s likely other companies, including hospital systems and others in the health care industry, could follow suit.
However, businesses that mandate vaccines might have to provide flexibility to workers who ask for exemptions or accommodations because of underlying health issues or religious objections, Gable said.
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When Should I Wear A Mask When Is It Safe To Forgo One
Generally speaking, outdoor activities are much safer than indoor environments, the doctors said. If youve been vaccinated and you want to go for a run or a bike ride, its fine to go maskless.
For indoor settings, where you dont know everyones vaccination status, such as a supermarket or gathering, its safer to wear a mask, they said.
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