U.S. companies can mandate vaccinations; holiday travel

U.S. companies can require employees to be vaccinated against COVID-19, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission said in a statement Friday.

Federal EEO laws do not prevent employers from requiring that all workers physically entering a workplace be vaccinated, so long as employers adhere to reasonable precautions of the American with Disabilities Act and other laws as set out in the Declaration.

Employers can also offer workers incentives to get vaccinated, “as long as the incentives are not compulsory,” the statement said.

“With vaccination staff requiring answers to pre-vaccination-related screening-related questions, a very big incentive could create a huge incentive for staff to feel pressured to disclose proprietary medical information,” the statement said.

“The updated technical assistance released today addresses frequently asked questions about vaccination in the employment context,” said Charlotte A. Burrows, Chair of the EEOC, in the statement. “EEOC will continue to refine and update our technical support for COVID-19 to ensure we provide clear, easy-to-understand and helpful information to the public.”

Also in the news:

► The Department of Veterans Affairs lifted all size collecting, mask and social distancing requirements for fully vaccinated individuals at national veterans cemeteries ahead of Memorial Day weekend.

► Carnival Cruise Line, the flagship of Carnival Corp., may soon be able to set sail with passengers on board. The cruise line is the latest to be given the go-ahead for portions of their restart plans from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention as it prepares to set sail after consultation with three home ports in U.S. waters.

► CVS offers the opportunity to win a trip to the Super Bowl, a Bermuda vacation, or cash prizes to attract more customers for COVID-19 vaccinations. Kroger offers customers, employees, or individuals with the chance to win $ 1 million or free groceries for a year.

► President Joe Biden kicked off Memorial Day weekend with a visit to a climbing gym in Northern Virginia as the state lifted all COVID-19 distancing and capacity restrictions on private companies.

The European Union Medicines Agency has approved the Pfizer vaccine for 12 to 15 year old children. This makes it the first vaccine to be approved for this age group in the EU.

Eli Lilly stopped distributing his monoclonal antibody treatments for COVID-19 in eight states because he feared it might not be as effective against virus variants. The break is not related to the safety of the treatment.

📈 Today’s numbers: The United States has more than 33.2 million confirmed coronavirus cases and more than 593,000 deaths, according to Johns Hopkins University. The global totals: About 169.5 Million cases and 3.5 million deaths. More than 133.5 million Americans have been fully vaccinated – 40% of the population.

📘 What we read: A year after one of the deadliest COVID-19 outbreaks in the nation, the leaders of the Navajo nation maintain mask restrictions and social distancing despite a high COVID-19 vaccination rate and CDC recommendations. Read the full story.

Keep updating this page for the latest updates. Want more? Sign up for our Coronavirus Watch newsletter to receive updates for your inbox and join our Facebook group.

Tennessee hat shop under attack for Star of David ‘Not Vaccinated’ patch

A hat seller in Nashville, Tennessee removed an Instagram post after fueling controversy over social media over the sale of a patch that looks like the Jewish Star of David.

HatWRKS, run by milliner Gigi Gaskins, posted a photo of a woman wearing a bright yellow star sticker with the words “Not Vaccinated”.

Social media users responded with the hashtag #HateWorks and called the patch anti-Semitic and “disgusting”. The original Instagram post had thousands of comments before it was removed.

Approximately 6 million Jewish people were killed in the Holocaust when the Nazis forced Jews to identify themselves with a yellow six-pointed star.

The company responded with an Instagram statement defending the move:

“People are so outraged by my position? But are you outraged by the tyranny the world is experiencing? If you don’t understand what is happening, it’s up to you, not me. I’m paying a lot more respect for history by being me for that. ” liked to offer than silence and compliance. “

– Sandy Mazza, Nashville Tennessean

Vietnam says the new variant is highly contagious

Vietnam has discovered a new variant of the coronavirus that laboratory tests have shown is easier to spread than other variants of the virus, said Vietnamese Health Minister Nguyen Thanh Long on Saturday.

Scientists who have studied the virus’s genetic makeup say the variant is a mix of strains first found in India and the UK, Long said.

Long said the new variant could be responsible for a surge in cases in Vietnam, as the country has confirmed more than 3,500 new cases and 12 deaths in recent weeks. The surge has resulted in nationwide bans on religious events and other large gatherings, as well as the closure of public parks and non-essential businesses such as restaurants, bars, clubs and spas.

Viruses often develop small genetic changes as they multiply. The World Health Organization has listed four global “variants of concern” – the first two found in the UK and India, and those identified in South Africa and Brazil.

Vaccinations help keep the travel peak on Memorial Day going

Americans were in near-record numbers at the start of Memorial Day weekend as their drive to break free from coronavirus restriction overcame higher prices on flights, gasoline and hotels.

More than 1.8 million people flew over U.S. airports on Thursday, and the daily number was widely expected to exceed 2 million at least once during the long vacation weekend, the highest since early March 2020.

Homeland Security Minister Alejandro Mayorkas warned people of long lines at airports and appealed to travelers to be patient.

The increase in travel expenses appears to be due to an increase in COVID-19 vaccinations as well as an improving economy. The U.S. Department of Commerce said consumer spending rose in April, albeit not as much as it did in March, showing how consumers are driving a recovery from last year’s pandemic recession.

– Associated Press

The South Dakota conference could undermine vaccination efforts, experts fear

The Advanced Medicine Conference opened on Friday at the Sioux Falls Convention Center in South Dakota – and the state’s medical professionals are not happy about it.

Here’s why: The four-day meeting will feature social media health influencers that critics say are responsible for the spread of pseudoscience and COVID-19 conspiracy theories that could further jeopardize virus control measures.

“We are on the threshold of potentially moving forward with COVID-19 vaccines and returning to our normalcy,” said Dr. Santiago Lopez of Immunize South Dakota, a coalition of health professionals, lawyers, scientists, parents, and community members. “Such meetings and conferences, at which false statements are made about the safety and effectiveness of vaccines, can result in people not being vaccinated … and not receiving herd immunity.”

The conference, which is expected to be attended by around 1,200 participants, includes dozens of speakers who have been identified as sources of origin for various myths and falsehoods about the coronavirus pandemic and the safety and effectiveness of COVID-19 vaccines.

The AMC had previously held its annual event in Charlotte, North Carolina, but moved to South Dakota that year, “which is NOT contrary to our belief systems, philosophies, and ways of thinking, and which allows us to host an event free of political rhetoric and medical myths. ” unscientific projections and biased conclusions, “according to the website. Tickets cost between $ 120 and $ 2,300.

Another drug can be added to the list of FDA-approved COVID treatments

Biopharmaceutical company Humanigen filed its drug lenzilumab with the Food and Drug Administration for emergency approval to treat hospital patients with COVID-19, the company said on Friday.

If the drug is approved, it will be added to a growing list of treatments approved by the FDA for COVID-19. Lenzilumab is focused on preventing and treating an overactive immune response, commonly known as a “cytokine storm,” which causes the immune system to kill both healthy and diseased tissue.

In a phase 3 study, the drug improved the probability of survival without ventilation in newly hospitalized patients by 54%. Survival improved 92% in patients also taking certain steroids and remdesivir.

“There is a need for hospital patients who need supplemental oxygen,” said Dr. Cameron Durrant, Chief Executive Officer of Humanigen. “Treatments can save lives. Despite vaccinations, infections and major breakthrough diseases will persist. “

– Adrianna Rodriguez

Returning to normal means that colds and sore throats are back

There is a downside to returning to pre-COVID-19 hygiene habits. Normality has also brought back colds, sore throats and runny nose, doctors say.

“People take off their masks, they no longer distance themselves socially, they no longer wash their hands as much and they get sick again,” said Dr. Aaron Glatt, CEO of Mount Sinai Hospital in South Nassau. New York.

Returning to normal “comes at a price,” said Glatt, who is also a member of the Infectious Diseases Society of America.

After a year with no colds, no runny noses, and no watery eyes, the tiny viruses kept under control by COVID-19 restrictions are making a comeback.

Of the utmost importance was influenza, which was at an all-time low this year. The flu season ends in April or May, so it’s unlikely to build up in summer. But other annoying, if less dangerous, viruses still exist.

– Elizabeth way

Featuring: Joe Sneve, Argus Leader, Sioux Falls (SD); The Associated Press

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