The Delta Variant is Spreading Fast, But Government Leaders Are Taking Action

Photo by Martin Sanchez on Unsplash

All across the nation there is increasing concern in regards to Covid-19, or more specifically the Delta variant, which is spreading like wildfire and causing cases to rise quickly. Back in May and June we were seeing the lowest numbers of cases and hospitalizations since the pandemic had begun. Now, less than two months later, both statistics are spiking, and the Delta variant is the main contributor to this rise. In response, city, state and federal leaders are taking action to try and stop the spread of the Delta variant.

The Delta variant is a major variant of concern right now, due to its increased danger. This variant has been shown to spread more quickly than the other variants, and it has also been shown to be more severe. What’s more is that the Delta variant has been seen attacking mainly young people and those who remain unvaccinated. For example, three states with incredibly low vaccination rates, Florida, Texas and Missouri, accounted for about 40% of the cases last week, while the 7-day average for cases across the country sat at about 37,700 during that time. Major spikes have also been seen in states like Arkansas, Nevada and Louisiana. However, cases are going up across the country as a whole, and it is unvaccinated individuals who have been taking the brunt of it all. This has led President Biden to say that this is now a “pandemic of the unvaccinated.”

The start of the response came from California, when governor Gavin Newsom announced that all state employees would be required to get vaccinated or be subjected to weekly Covid-19 testing. This mandate does not just apply to those workers, though. It also extended to those in the healthcare field. That means that everyone who works in hospitals, nursing homes, homeless shelters, jails and other healthcare and congregate locations will be subjected to the mandate. And for those in healthcare who choose to remain unvaccinated, they will be required to wear proper PPE at all times on top of being tested once a week. What’s more is that Governor Newsom recommended that all local governments and businesses within the state impose the same requirements. The mandate for state employees will go into place starting August 2, and the mandate for healthcare workers will begin on August 9. Testing will be phased in during the following weeks. Healthcare facilities will have until August 23 to be in full compliance with the mandate.

In a statement Governor Newsom said, “We are now dealing with a pandemic of the unvaccinated, and it’s going to take renewed efforts to protect Californians from the dangerous Delta variant .As the state’s largest employer, we are leading by example and requiring all state and health care workers to show proof of vaccination or be tested regularly, and we are encouraging local governments and businesses to do the same.”

California’s response doesn’t end there though, as Los Angeles mayor Eric Garcetti announced on Tuesday a vaccine mandate for all city employees as well. The reason for this mandate according to the mayor is because of the rapid rise in cases, seeing the case rate go from under 1% to about 5% in just one month approximately. The city departments will have until August 13 to gather and report the vaccination statuses for their workers, and those that are not vaccinated will also be subjected to weekly testing. At this time, however, it is unclear how much support there is for the mandate from the different workers’ unions throughout the city. The cities of San Francisco and Pasadena are also considering putting their mandates into place.

All that being said, response to the situation is not just happening out west. On the other side of the country, mandates have been going into place in New York, as they also try to slow and stop the spread of the Delta variant. It started with New York City mayor Bill de Blasio , who began his set of mandates last week when he announced that all city healthcare workers, plus those that work in the Department of Health, would have to give proof of vaccination by August 2 or be subjected to weekly Covid-19 testing. Then on Monday, he announced a mandate that requires all city workers to do the same. The start date for that mandate will be September 13. However, 45,000 city workers and contractors who are located in residential or congregate care settings will be put under this order starting August 16. In a statement de Blasio said, “This is what it takes to continue our recovery for all of us while fighting back the delta variant. It’s going to take all of us to finally end the fight against COVID-19.”

That was then followed up on Wednesday by an announcement from New York governor Andrew Cuomo. In his announcement, Cuomo said that all state workers would be required to prove their vaccination status, and if unvaccinated they would have to be tested weekly. However, there is another part of this mandate that is different from all of the others. Whereas in the mandates from California and New York City healthcare workers were allowed to remain unvaccinated as long as they get tested weekly, Cuomo’s mandate is much more strict. The other part of the governor’s order states that any worker at hospitals run by the state will face a vaccination requirement with no other alternative. That means that state-run hospital workers will not have the choice to just get tested weekly. They will have to get vaccinated if they want to keep their jobs. The governor’s mandate is set to begin on September 6.

On Thursday, President Biden is expected to announce a vaccine requirement for all civilian federal workers. This mandate is anticipated to look similar to the other mandates previously talked about. One thing to note about the mandate, though, is that it looks unlikely that the president will not require the military to get vaccinated, however, he does have the power to do so. At the same time, the Department of Veterans Affairs has announced their own vaccination requirement for their frontline healthcare workers. That process will happen over the next two months.

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Every week hosts of BBP News Podcast Chris Baker and Nick Rodd write about all current events from politics, technology, business and sports news.

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BBP News

BBP News

Every week hosts of BBP News Podcast Chris Baker and Nick Rodd write about all current events from politics, technology, business and sports news.

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