Businesses are having a hard time adjusting to shifting COVID-19 guidelines. The recent resurgence of COVID-19’ is pushing companies to reconsider new pandemic policies.
Americans Feeling Effects of New COVID-19 Guidelines
The US is again registering new daily cases in the thousands again. As a result, health officials are scrambling to implement adjusted COVID-19 guidelines. Many states and companies are now issuing their own COVID-19 guidelines. They usually base it on updates from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
Americans nationwide are feeling the effects of new policies implemented by companies and industries. Mask mandates and vaccine requirements are taking hold in various sectors.
This includes automakers in Detroit, health systems in Texas, state universities in Missouri, and tech companies in California. In addition, theme park and hospitality companies are also implementing updated COVID-19 guidelines instead of shutting down.
Many Companies Requiring Vaccines For Employees
Last Friday, the Walt Disney Co joined the list of companies that required salaried and nonunion workers to show proof of vaccinations by September 30. Retail giant Walmart also followed with a similar announcement for the Bentonville, Arkansas supply center.
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Even as Walmart will require employees to get the vaccines, the company will issue a cash bonus of $150 for every store and warehouse worker who will voluntarily undergo vaccination.
Walmart CEO Doug McMillion issued a memo to employees regarding the updated COVID-19 guidelines. “As we all know, the pandemic is not over, and the Delta variant has led to an increase in infection rates across much of the US,” We want to get to a place where we can use our offices and be together safely.”.
Earlier this month, companies such as Google and Facebook also required vaccines for employees. They also pushed the calendar for workers to return to their offices.
Employers Also Implementing Mask Guidelines
The new guidelines come as many Americans expected the worst of the pandemic as behind them. However, the recent uptick in cases is showing the opposite. This led companies such as Ford Motor Co to reinstate their COVID-19 guidelines such as mask policies and vaccine requirements.
Kelli Felker, global manufacturing and labor communications manager, said “I think we were all hoping we’d be through all of this at this point.”
Instead, Ford will now implement mask-wearing in the workplace regardless of vaccine status. Recently, it added Georgia to the list of states where the policy will remain in full effect. Earlier, workers in Kentucky, Missouri, and Florida already received their orders to wear masks while working.
Companies Adjusting COVID-19 Guidelines Due to Confusing CDC Directives
Meanwhile, tech companies such as Google and Facebook will now require returning workers to show their vaccination status. Then, Citigroup said they will implement a mask mandate that applies to all their places of work.
However, many other companies remain uncertain on how to proceed given the upsurge in COVID-19 cases. They look at the CDC for directions, but the agency itself seems to waffle on their guidelines.
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At present, they want everyone to wear masks in most indoor settings regardless of vaccination status. Many companies temporarily solved the issue by asking workers not to return back to the office and continue remote work.
Jonathan Johnson of furniture company Overstock said there’s no rush to return. “We don’t feel any pressure to go back just yet. With the delta variant and the spike in cases and hospitalizations, I’m sure glad we’re not back in the office wondering, ‘OK, is time to shuffle back home?’”
Different COVID-19 Guidelines Remain A Challenge
However, companies that operate across the country face a bigger challenge. Setting a universal policy among different local offices will remain a big problem. Many states have their own mandate and depending on the leadership, have different views on pandemic safety. Those dealing with worker shortages are also reluctant to advertise their COVID-19 guidelines.
Watch the NBC News video that asks: Can your employer require you to get the COVID vaccine?
WIll you get a vaccination if your work requires you to? How about mask mandates at the office?
Let us know what you think about the updated COVID-19 guidelines. Share your comments below.