4:13 PM, Feb 27, 2020


As COVID-19 cases surge in the U.S., many companies weigh vaccine mandates

Virus Outbreak-US
Posted at 4:59 AM, Jul 29, 2021
and last updated 2021-07-29 05:21:36-04

(WXYZ) — The CDC is reporting new infections of COVID-19 are up 400% in just the last five weeks as a surge sweeps the country.

Several parts of the south and west are dealing with a high level of transmission of the coronavirus.

Things are a bit less active in Michigan, but 10 counties, including parts of West Michigan and the Upper Peninsula, are experiencing a substantial level of spread. In metro Detroit, we're experiencing a moderate level.

The surge in cases is forcing both private and federal employers to start implementing COVID-19 vaccine mandates.

On Wednesday, both Spectrum and Beaumont Health, which plan to merge, announced they will require employees to be vaccinated against COVID-19. It follows Henry Ford and Trinity Health.

we're facing something we've never faced before and this is a time for unity the virus will not win if we're unified," Bob Riney, the president of healthcare operations and COO at Henry Ford Health System, said.

Last week, Riney said the health system is standing firm on the decision to require the vaccination after dozens protested the mandate earlier this month, claiming it violated their rights. But, that's not the case.

"Yes, your private employer can say to you, you must have a vaccine to work here. You must show proof of a vaccine to work here," Civil Rights and Employment Attorney Deborah Gordon said.

Spectrum Health officials say they're applying the same logic to the COVID-19 vaccine as they do with requiring flu shots and other vaccines, but it's not just private health systems.

On Monday, the VA announced a vaccine mandate for its healthcare workers.

Earlier this week, more than 50 health and medical groups, including the American Medical Association, issued a joint statement to all healthcare employers, urging them to donate the vaccine.

President Joe Biden is also expected to announce new guidelines for federal workers on Thursday. Government insiders say they'd be required to share their vaccination status, and those who are unvaccinated will be required to mask up and submit to regular testing.

Sources tell CNN the Department of Justice is weighing the legality of companies requiring employees to roll up their sleeves.

Additional Coronavirus information and resources:

View a global coronavirus tracker with data from Johns Hopkins University.

See complete coverage on our Coronavirus Continuing Coverage page.

Visit our The Rebound Detroit, a place where we are working to help people impacted financially from the coronavirus. We have all the information on everything available to help you through this crisis and how to access it.