COVID-19 Resources

Due to the continuous developments regarding the virus, TAG is offering COVID-19 Retainer Packages to businesses concerned with the impact of this outbreak.

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Key Points

January 15, 2021

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Recommendations for Industry
 

The Latest on the COVID-19 Vaccine

With President-elect Joe Biden actively setting the priorities of his administration, it is evident that he will be prioritizing COVID-19 efforts, including that of “speeding up vaccines and pumping out financial help,” as stated by APNews. But even as the vaccine is rolled out, there remain a number of factors for consideration by businesses with the decision on whether or not to mandate that one’s employees be vaccinated and whether incentives should be provided.

 

These are critical questions as it is being found that there are even healthcare workers who are reluctant to be vaccinated. As noted by New York Times, some are concerned with the newness of the vaccines, some are worried about potential side effects, and others have lost trust in those urging them to take the shot: the federal government, politicians and their employers.

 

To help increase acceptance, some employers are offering cash, gift card, and time off incentives. In some cases, employees may have to fear for their jobs if they refuse the vaccine – and with the EEOC guidance allowing employees to require the vaccine, this may be allowable.

 

There also has been some talk of airlines, workplaces, and stadiums requiring vaccination proof prior to entering – which could be a key consideration for any employees who travel or visit other businesses.  

The COVID-19 pandemic continues to create complex questions and decisions, even with – and even because of – the roll out of vaccines. TAG recommends that you stay as informed as possible on all that you can – with TAG doing our part to continue to help keep your informed! – and, yes, we will say it again (and again and again) continue to maintain all the COVID-19 protections you have been implementing for months, and continue to encourage employees to not let up outside of work.

Vaccine FAQ

Q. Where can I find out how my state is prioritizing vaccines – and when my employees can start to be tested?

 

A. Since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, states have had the ultimate say in most COVID-19-related rulemaking and recommendations (e.g. including stay-at-home orders, mask-wearing, business limitations, and essential worker distinctions). Directives for the roll-out of virus vaccines are no different. As explained by the National Governors Association (NGA), it is each state’s individual responsibility to “manag[e] the systems for ordering, distributing, and monitoring vaccines” – i.e., determine where your workers fall in the system’s priority of distribution. 

Because of this, there can be a great deal of variation between states. Following are three sources we found, through which current information can be attained:

  • National Governors Association (NGA). has a comprehensive and regularly updated list, as its State COVID-19 Vaccine Resources webpage links to the vaccine public health webpage of every state and U.S. territory. While declared as being “not exhaustive of statewide actions,” it is as up to date on vaccine information as has been published by each state and territory.

  • CDC. The CDC’s Vaccine page includes a section titled “See how and when you can get vaccinated.” Selecting your state or territory from the dropdown list links to the health department webpage to explain how it determines how vaccines are distributed.

  • Kaiser Family Foundation (KFF). In its “State Vaccine Resources” webpage, KFF discuss the state responsibility for vaccines, then includes a listing of states and territories with links to their vaccine pages.

While some of these links are repetitive, we’ve included them all to ensure you are able to find the most current information available.

In Case You Missed It...
 
  • On Wednesday’s Recommendations for Industry, we explored this week’s U.S. 50 State Risk Matrix and the apparent calm before the storm.

  • On Monday’s Recommendations for Industry, we explored what the renewed expansion of COVID-19 spread – and deaths means for you and your business.

  • On Tuesday (January 12, 2021), the CDC issued an order requiring that all air passengers arriving to the US from a foreign country be tested no more than 3 days before their flight departs and provide proof of the negative result or documentation of having recovered from COVID-19 to the airline before boarding the flight. This order will go into effect on Tuesday, January 26, 2021.

  • Similar to TAG’s FAQs, NPR breaks down why it is still necessary to wear masks and avoid crowds even after getting the COVID-19 vaccine.

  • A best practice of keeping COVID-19 out of your home is to improve the ventilation (air flow) and bring in fresh air, especially if you are having visitors. This extra step, on top of staying 6 feet apart and wearing masks, can decrease your risk of getting/spreading COVID-19. Improving ventilation may include, opening windows, using air filters, and turning on fans – all actions that can clear the air and move the particles out of the space you’re in.

    • You can also use a window exhaust fan or place a fan as close as possible to an open door or window, blowing outwards.

    • If you want a portable air cleaner, consider using a high-efficiency particular air (HEPA) cleaner sized for the room(s) you are airing out.

    • Read more tips from the CDC, including how to use ceiling fans, vent bathrooms, etc.

  • The FDA has issued an alert that some of the genetic COVID-19 variants may impact the results of and lead to false negatives on some COVID-19 molecular tests (e.g.  Accula SARS-Cov-2 Test; TaqPath COVID-19 Combo Kit; Linea COVID-19 Assay Kit).

  • Beware of black market COVID-19 vaccines. The FDA has also issued a warning to beware of fraudulent tests, vaccines, and treatments. Be wary of unofficial COVID-19 vaccines and unscrupulous individuals who may be selling or administering the vaccine. Currently, vaccines are being distributed and administered through health departments, hospitals, pharmacies, and other valid medical or pharmaceutical facilities. Do not take a vaccine that is offered outside of locations listed above.  If you have questions about the appropriateness of a vaccination site, reach out to your local or state health department. 

  • Japan has identified a new COVID-19 variant (B.1.1.248 strain with 12 mutations in the spike protein) that has similar mutations as those seen currently in the South Africa and UK variants. However, more studies must still be done to understand how this new variant may affect disease transmissibility or severity.

  • In last Friday’s Recommendations for Industry, we discussed how businesses can determine the COVID-19 vaccination priorities and directives of the states in which they operate. Read more.

  • We have continued to populate the TAG Vaccine Q&A page. Last Friday, we focused on (a) the efficacy of current tests and (b) managing potentially serious reactions of vaccines. This week we discuss state vaccination priorities.

Keep up to date with COVID-19:

Please send us any questions, comments, and/or concerns! We are happy to talk with you. 

 

OR call us at 1-800-401-2239

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