After months of speculation the Supreme Court blocked a federal vaccine standard for large employers (defined as 100 or more employees) in January of 2022, effectively placing COVID-19 safety standards in the workplace as the responsibility of states and individual companies. With the list of uncertainties for employers now including the policies of state and county governments and the complexities surrounding COVID-19 testing, we have collected guidance and key resources on these topics to help businesses navigate the times.
Although some big-name companies in the U.S are upholding their internal vaccine mandates despite the Supreme Court ruling, we understand the difficulties businesses face when operating within policies created on the state and county level. Companies may have an added challenge when operating across multiple states – a national company can strive to implement vaccine mandates for California employees while being legally barred from doing the same in Florida. For employers looking to keep up-to-speed on policies, state and local government websites remain the best sources of truth. These pages should be checked with some frequency as temporary standards may be extended or discontinued. In addition, websites like this one provide accessible overviews and graphical representation of vaccine mandates for each state and serve as great supplemental resources.
The topic of for COVID-19 testing remains a complex and varied issue for employers and individuals alike and we want to keep all members informed of the latest, accurate information. This is why we created several resources for businesses and members – including a cross-plan testing coverage grid and member-facing resources such as this coverage FAQs page – to help sort through the information and provide answers to basic coverage questions. These resources are updated based on the most recent information available.
Testing programs within the workplace present an added challenge. Factors such as testing frequency, the cost and sourcing of tests, and handling positive test all need to be accounted for. A valuable resource for businesses building a COVID-19 testing program is this testing guide for non-healthcare workplaces published by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). The page contains extensive, in-depth information about COVID-19 tests, deciding which testing strategy matches your workplace, and creating a scalable testing program.
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