New York City forces shots on all private companies amid Omicron spread

NEW YORK, Dec.6 (Reuters) – New York City said on Monday that all private sector employers must implement COVID-19 vaccination mandates for their workers because the highly transmissible variant of Omicron s ‘is spread in at least a third of US states.

The largest city in the United States has set a Dec. 27 deadline for 184,000 businesses within its boundaries to have their employees prove they have been vaccinated.

In addition, children aged 5 to 11 must receive at least one dose of the vaccine by December 14 to enter restaurants and participate in extracurricular activities, such as sports, orchestra, orchestra and dance, the mayor said. Bill de Blasio.

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“Vaccination is the way out of this pandemic, and these are bold steps, the first in the country, to encourage New Yorkers to keep themselves and their communities safe,” said de Blasio, who is stepping down. next month, in a press release.

De Blasio’s successor, Eric Adams, “will assess this mandate and other COVID strategies when he is in office and make decisions based on science, effectiveness and the advice of medical professionals,” said his spokesperson Evan Thies.

About 27% of children aged 5 to 12 have received at least one dose and 15% are fully immunized, according to the city ​​website.

The Greater New York Chamber of Commerce has said it supports the expanded mandate.

The requirements come at a time when the novel coronavirus infections are on the rise across the country, especially in the northern states, as the colder weather encouraged trading and socializing indoors.

Over the past week, the country has averaged more than 120,000 new infections a day, up 64% from the previous week, according to a Reuters tally.

Deaths, which delay infections, have averaged 1,300 a day for the past seven days, up from an average of 800 a day a week ago, according to Reuters data.

The Delta variant still accounts for 99.9% of new COVID cases in the United States, CDC director Dr. Rochelle Walensky told ABC News on Sunday.

Omicron, first detected last month in southern Africa, has spread around the world and is showing signs of being more contagious than the Delta variant.

In total, several dozen cases of Omicron have been found in 18 of the 50 US states: California, Colorado, Connecticut, Georgia, Hawaii, Maryland, Massachusetts, Louisiana, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Nebraska, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Utah, Washington and Wisconsin, according to a Reuters tally.

Louisiana has also reported a probable case of Omicron in a crew member of a cruise ship that disembarked in New Orleans this weekend. At least 17 cases of COVID-19 have been detected on the ship and further testing is underway, state health officials said.

Several New York-headquartered Wall Street banks, including Goldman Sachs Group Inc (GS.N), Morgan Stanley (MS.N) and Citigroup (CN), already require vaccines for anyone entering their offices. JPMorgan Chase & Co (JPM.N), America’s largest bank, has so far allowed unvaccinated employees to come and work in offices if they undergo COVID-19 tests twice a week.

Alphabet Inc’s Google (GOOGL.O) and Meta’s Facebook (FB.O), which also have operations in New York City, also already require that all U.S. employees be vaccinated to enter buildings.

A nationwide vaccine warrant issued earlier this year by President Joe Biden for companies with 100 or more workers has been linked to litigation. In November, a US appeals court upheld its decision to stay the order. Read more

De Blasio, noting that the city has already issued warrants covering several other groups of municipal workers, said he was confident his latest ordinance would stand up to legal scrutiny.

“We’re confident because it’s universal,” he told MSNBC.

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Reporting by Peter Szekely in New York and Brendan O’Brien in Chicago; Additional reporting by Elizabeth Dilts in New York, Susan Heavey in Washington, and Barbara Goldberg in Maplewood, New Jersey; Editing by Doina Chiacu and Lisa Shumaker

Our standards: Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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