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Health

Your Boss May Require You to Get a COVID-19 Vaccine


Karla Grossenbacher, JD, head of workplace privacy group, Seyfarth Shaw, LLP; chair of the law firm’s employment practice, Washington, D.C.

Dorit Rubinstein Reiss, PhD, law professor, University of California Hastings College of Law, San Francisco; member, Vaccine Working Group on Ethics and Policy nonprofit.

Michael Mina, PhD, assistant professor of epidemiology and faculty member, Center for Communicable Disease Dynamics, Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, Boston.

Equal Employment Opportunity Commission: “What You Should Know About COVID-19 and the ADA, the Rehabilitation Act, and Other EEO Laws.”

Seyfarth: “Required Read For All Employers: The EEOC Issues Guidance On The Interplay Of Workplace Bias Laws And COVID-19 Vaccinations.”

Sykes Enterprises: “Survey Report: American Perceptions of COVID-19 vaccines.”


EHS Today: “54% of Americans Think Employers Should Require COVID-19 Vaccine.”


Education Week: “Will a COVID-19 Vaccine Be Mandatory for Students?”

Employment Law Watch: “New bill would require virtually all New Yorkers to receive COVID-19 vaccination.”

LegisScan: New York Assembly Bill 11179.


METRO: “Muslim parents refuse to give children flu vaccine ‘because it contains pork.’”

Society for Human Resource Management: “What Employers Can Do If Workers Refuse a COVID-19 Vaccination.”

 





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California Chicago Headline USA New York Politics

Fauci calls on federal government to mandate COVID tests on flights from the UK

Dr Anthony Fauci on Tuesday morning said it was under ‘active discussion’ that testing on transatlantic flights be mandated 

Dr. Fauci on Tuesday called on the federal government to mandate COVID tests on all flights from the UK after New York Governor Andrew Cuomo made a plea to airlines to introduce it and California’s Governor Gavin Newsom said he was considering it. 

The sudden panic over flights from the UK has been caused by a new strain of COVID-19 that experts fear is 70 percent more infectious than what has previously been seen. It was detected in the UK in September and has since been found in Australia, Denmark, the Netherlands, Italy and Gibraltar. 

While no cases in the US have been confirmed yet, Dr. Fauci echoed other scientists’ comments on Tuesday morning that it was most likely already here. 

On Monday, NY Governor Andrew Cuomo convinced British Airways, Delta and Virgin to start mandating that passengers must test negative for COVID before they can board flights to New York City. Delta and Virgin say they will also enforce it on flights to Atlanta. 

But there are dozens of other flights every day between the UK and the US which remain unchecked. 

BA operates daily flights from London to L.A.X. and next week they cost as little as £200. The airline also flies direct to Chicago, Dallas, Houston and Miami. 

Delta and Virgin also offer one-stop flights to Orlando but tests are not yet required on those flights yet. The airline says it will enforce testing on all US-bound flights eventually, but they haven’t said when it’ll go into effect on non NYC or Atlanta flights.

Cuomo on Monday said he would prefer that the US banned all flights from the UK temporarily but that in the absence of action from the federal government, it was the best he could do to try to stop the new strain from spreading. California Governor Newsom said afterwards that he too was considering a similar measure but that he wanted the federal government to take action too.  

Dr Fauci, speaking on Good Morning America, said it was likely that testing on all transatlantic flights would become mandatory. 

‘You really need to assume it ‘s here already. It’s certainly not the dominant strain but I would not be surprised at all if it’s already here.  

‘Travel bans are really rather draconian. There is certain consideration throughout about the possibility and likelihood of requiring the testing of individuals before they board a plane to the United States. 

‘That is under active discussion. The governor of New York is already doing that. That’s a big difference between shutting off travel completely which is really a rather dramatic step. 

‘That’s not really in the cards right now but I wouldn’t be surprised if the requirement of testing is something that is being actively considered right now,’ he said.

A British Airways plane arriving at JFK on Monday, one of dozens that flew in throughout the day, while more than 40 other countries cut off British travel

A British Airways plane arriving at JFK on Monday, one of dozens that flew in throughout the day, while more than 40 other countries cut off British travel

Passengers arrive at JFK's Terminal 4 on Monday and make a break for the city without being tested for COVID. There were national guardsmen checks inside where people were asked to fill out their information

Passengers arrive at JFK’s Terminal 4 on Monday and make a break for the city without being tested for COVID. There were national guardsmen checks inside where people were asked to fill out their information 

National Guard screen people at JFK airport on Dec 21 2020 as passengers arrive from overseas. It's unclear what they were asking them. The state law in NY is that people arriving from other states test negative 72 hours within arriving, quarantine for three days and then test negative again on the fourth day. The CDC guidance for people coming from overseas is that they quarantine for 14 days, if they can get into the country at all

National Guard screen people at JFK airport on Dec 21 2020 as passengers arrive from overseas. It’s unclear what they were asking them. The state law in NY is that people arriving from other states test negative 72 hours within arriving, quarantine for three days and then test negative again on the fourth day. The CDC guidance for people coming from overseas is that they quarantine for 14 days, if they can get into the country at all

Britain's infection rate, in yellow, has rebounded sharply since the end of a national lockdown at the start of December - a resurgence blamed on the new variant of Covid-19 which has left the UK isolated by a series of travel bans. The US infection rate is still higher than in Britain, with some scientists and politicians saying America should also stop flights from the UK

Britain’s infection rate, in yellow, has rebounded sharply since the end of a national lockdown at the start of December – a resurgence blamed on the new variant of Covid-19 which has left the UK isolated by a series of travel bans. The US infection rate is still higher than in Britain, with some scientists and politicians saying America should also stop flights from the UK 

Virgin, Delta and British Airways all said on Monday that they would start mandating tests on flights from the UK to New York City.  They won’t do the tests themselves; passengers must obtain the test within 72 hours before they board the plane. 

WHAT THE AIRLINES ARE DOING

British Airways

Mandatory COVID-19 tests on all flights to NYC starting December 22.

No mandatory tests on all other flights. The airline also flies to LA, Dallas, Houston, Chicago and Miami

Delta and Virgin 

Mandatory tests on all flights to the US, starting with NYC and Atlanta from December 24. 

Travelers will be required to take a LAMP or PCR test up to 72 hours prior to departure adding another layer of safety when they travel. 

The airline also operates flights to Orlando and one-stop routes to other US cities 

They are telling people with flights booked to monitor their website for information.  

United Airlines

No mandatory COVID-19 tests on any flights. 

Twice daily flights from London to the US scheduled for 2021 

American Airlines 

Partner with BA. No mandatory tests on flights

British Airways is insisting on the negative tests from Tuesday but only on planes from London to New York City. 

Delta and Virgin will impose their mandate starting on Christmas Eve and will also impose the rule on their flights from London to Atlanta. 

United – which operates two daily flights between Heathrow and Newark – said it wasn’t going to change its rules because the federal government hadn’t insisted on it yet.  

‘No additional changes are being made at this time but we will continue to monitor the situation,’ a spokesman told DailyMail.com. 

American Airlines has not indicated yet whether or not it plans to impose mandatory tests – the airline has not responded to multiple requests for information. 

Cuomo, on Monday night, pleaded with the federal government to adopt the same rules. 

‘We have an agreement now with the three airlines but the point is bigger than just New York. We have been worried about a mutation of the virus. That’s what everybody’s been worried about.

‘You have 120 countries that have required no one comes from the UK unless they test negative and the US has done nothing.  

‘I acted proactively for New York, I have the airlines that are flying into New York, but we’ve learned this lesson before. That’s what’s frustrating. 

‘The way we got COVID in the Spring. The federal government thought the virus was in China. 

‘Yes, the people who fly into New York will be negative but we’ll have flights into Chicago, we’ll have flights into other parts of the country… those people will get on flights. 

‘This whole notion that any one state can protect itself was foolish from the beginning,’ he told CNN.  

He added that scientists like Fauci are more cautious than he or other politicians, saying: ‘A scientist wants to see a flame before they tell you there’s a fire. I see smoke, I douse the spot in water.’ 

The US still has the highest number of COVID cases and deaths in the world but the UK has a higher number of deaths per capita. Belgium is the worst

The US still has the highest number of COVID cases and deaths in the world but the UK has a higher number of deaths per capita. Belgium is the worst 

A global air traffic map shows dozens of flights over the Atlantic on Monday including many from London to JFK while more countries cut the UK off over the new strain of COVID-19

A global air traffic map shows dozens of flights over the Atlantic on Monday including many from London to JFK while more countries cut the UK off over the new strain of COVID-19

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo is calling for a ban on all travel from Britain to the US

California Governor Gavin Newsom

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo is calling for a ban on all travel from Britain to the US as is California Governor Gavin Newsom but Fauci says it would be pointless

Scott Gottlieb, a former head of the FDA, told CNBC that the new strain 'is already in the US' and that a travel ban would not keep it out

Scott Gottlieb, a former head of the FDA, told CNBC that the new strain ‘is already in the US’ and that a travel ban would not keep it out

Newsom said on Monday: ‘I hope the federal government takes action in this space. They should. 

‘We’ve seen Canada, we’ve seen so many other jurisdictions around the world that have. 

‘In the absence of that, we’ll be pursuing different strategies on testing and quarantine and those have been activated in terms of those conversations. 

‘As soon as I have more information, I’ll share that information with you.’ 

It begs the question of why this step wasn’t taken sooner and why the airlines aren’t imposing the tests on all of their flights around the world. 

In March and April, at the height of the pandemic in New York City, testing was difficult to come by which is likely the explanation.

Rapid tests, which are now the most commonly used but are not as accurate as the notorious swabs, were almost non-existent. 

Now, some are asking why mandatory rapid tests aren’t the rule on every flight.

Others say mandatory COVID testing on flights will do nothing because a) rapid tests are not as reliable as people may think they are and b) a person can easily catch COVID in between the time they take the test and when they board the flight. 

The border between Europe and America has been closed to non-citizens or exempted people since President Trump’s March 21 executive order.  

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Georgia Headline USA Politics Utah

Delta Air Lines has banned more than 400 passengers over its face mask mandate 


REVEALED: Delta Air Lines has banned more than 400 passengers for ‘refusing to comply’ with its face mask mandate

  • Delta Air Lines banned 460 anti-mask flyers who violated the mandated policy
  • That number was just under 300 people in August 
  • All major airlines have mandated face coverings as the industry struggled to regain revenue on par with pre-pandemic numbers
  • In June, Delta and other airlines revealed passengers who don’t comply could be banned from future flights 
  • Delta Air Lines required all passengers who cannot wear a face mask due to health concerns to undergo a medical screening in July
  • Footage of airline confrontations over face masks have erupted online  

More than 400 travelers won’t be flying with Delta Air Lines anymore after they were banned for flouting its strict face mask policy, according to a memo.

In just five months, the no-fly list for ‘The World’s Most Trusted Airline’ has jumped by hundreds as wary travelers slowly return to the skies. 

‘As of this week, we’ve added 460 people to our no-fly list for refusing to comply with our mask requirement,’ Delta CEO Ed Bastian told employees, CNN reports.

More than 400 passengers have been banned from Delta Air Lines for refusing to adhrere to its face mask mandate

Delta Air Lines CEO Ed Bastian (pictured): 'We remind them several times over the course of getting ready to take off to please keep that mask on. But if they insist upon not wearing it — we insist that they're not going to travel on Delta today'

Delta Air Lines CEO Ed Bastian (pictured): ‘We remind them several times over the course of getting ready to take off to please keep that mask on. But if they insist upon not wearing it — we insist that they’re not going to travel on Delta today’

It comes after Delta implemented its face covering mandate on May 4, when just over 1.1million Americans were infected and 68,000 had died. As of Sunday, that number has skyrocketed to 8.7million cases and a death toll of 224,900.

All major airlines have implemented face mask mandates, but a federal one was never ordered by the Trump administration. 

In August, Delta Airlines revealed that it prohibited around 270 passengers since the pandemic began. 

‘You can’t get on the plane without wearing your mask. But we do have some customers that don’t want to keep their mask on during flight,’ Bastian told CNN Business at the time. 

‘We remind them several times over the course of getting ready to take off to please keep that mask on. But if they insist upon not wearing it — we insist that they’re not going to travel on Delta today.’

Travelers wearing protective masks wait to board a flight at the Delta Air Lines Terminal A on opening day of the Salt Lake City International Airport in Salt Lake City, Utah

Travelers wearing protective masks wait to board a flight at the Delta Air Lines Terminal A on opening day of the Salt Lake City International Airport in Salt Lake City, Utah

A traveler walks through a terminal as a Delta flight taxis on the tarmac behind at Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport in Arlington, Virginia

A traveler walks through a terminal as a Delta flight taxis on the tarmac behind at Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport in Arlington, Virginia

But airlines have not shared their ‘no-fly’ lists with each other, meaning it’s possible for a passenger to be barred from Spirit Airlines and still book flights with United Airlines. 

The airline industry was dealt a crushing blow in March as lockdown restrictions were instituted and would-be passengers avoided unnecessary travel. 

Delta Air Lines, founded in Macon, Georgia, in 1925, started off the new year strong in January at $62.03 per share on January 17. That price plunged to a low of $19.38 on May 14.

Since then, Delta has managed to regain some traction as Americans gradually fly more, but it’s well below what the company typically saw. 

Cell phone footage of face mask confrontations on airplanes have become commonplace on social media. 

Recently, an unidentified passenger caused a commotion when she refused to properly wear a face covering and punched a flight attendant.

Pictured: a look at Delta Air Lines stock price over the past year shows the damaging fallout from the COVID-19 pandemic

Pictured: a look at Delta Air Lines stock price over the past year shows the damaging fallout from the COVID-19 pandemic 



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Delhi The Buzz

Govt to mandate fortification of edible oil with vitamins A, D


New Delhi, September 26

Food regulator FSSAI is considering making it mandatory for edible oil manufacturers to fortify cooking oil with vitamins A and D, which help in boosting immunity.

“FSSAI is considering to make it mandatory to fortify edible oil with vitamins A and D so that people of India can enjoy better immunity with good health,” FSSAI CEO Arun Singhal said.

He was addressing a national webinar on edible oil fortification, organised by the Food Fortification Resource Centre (FFRC) under the Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) in association with Global Alliance for Improved Nutrition (GAIN), a statement said on Saturday.

Fortification of edible oil will ensure that people belonging to different socio-economic strata have easy access to fortified edible oil across the country, Singhal said.

“India has a very high burden of malnutrition, including micronutrient deficiencies. A huge population in our country suffers from deficiency of vitamins A and D. Lack of these vitamins in our body can have adverse impact on morbidity, mortality, productivity and economic growth,” the statement said.

Vitamins A and D strengthen the immune system, which is critical in times of COVID-19 pandemic, it added.

To facilitate the industry, Singhal said FFRC will also provide the necessary technical support required to enable fortification of edible oil.

At present, 69 per cent (7.94 million tonnes/annum edible oil) of packaged edible oil sold across pan-India is fortified, the statement said.

Tarun Vij, country director, GAIN, said, “The government’s mandate for scaling-up the process of edible oil fortification should go hand in hand with building capacities of the industry for producing quality assured edible oil fortified with vitamins A and D.”

Citing the example of Rajasthan, where fortification of edible oil is being done since 2011, Vij said there is a substantial reduction in vitamin A deficiency among children (10-19 years) in the state. — PTI

 





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