Will Biden Administration Bring Sweeping New COVID-19 Response Requirements?

by | Jan 21, 2021 | COVID-19 Vaccine, Immunizations, OnSite Services, OSHA, Workers Compensation, Workplace Safety

The 46th USA president, Joseph Biden, unveiled a new, sweeping plan with new COVID-19 Response requirements to combat the coronavirus pandemic. As expected, the project focuses on investing billions of dollars in a new Covid-19 Response Program with a focus on vaccine campaigns in partnership with states, local governments, and territories for a smooth rollout. COVID-19 Response requirements Biden Admin The national strategy will provide a clear roadmap for Americans to appropriately address such health crisis. The new plan will primarily focus on speeding up the vaccination process, considering the importance of immunizing all Americans. The program will also emphasize other significant areas, including testing expansion, creating public healthcare worker jobs, implementing a new strategy to support school reopenings, and partnering with global organizations for future preparedness. The top program highlights are:

    • Connecting with Americans to build and restore trust
    • Focusing on a new vaccination campaign
    • Implement and execute new workplace safety goals and health standards
    • Expansion of emergency relief through the Defense Act
    • New plans to support school reopening across the nation
    • Protect the vulnerable (testing, treatment, and immunization)
    • Collaborate with global organizations to prepare for the future threats

How Will This Program Accelerate Vaccination?

At least two-thirds of the American population needs to be vaccinated to slow down the pandemic. The current coronavirus vaccine rollout has been hindered by several factors, including the shortage of doses and lack of an effective vaccine campaign. According to the CDC’s data, although 30 million dosages were already distributed since the emergency use authorization, only 11 million have been administered to date. The real problems are the lack of collaboration between the federal government with local administrations and the unwillingness to oversee, manage, and support the rollout program at a regional level. President Biden’s new strategy is hinting at a more hands-on approach. The program will focus on:

  • Investing more in the national vaccination program and building a public campaign to oversee the process.
  • Ensure the availability of more vaccines to the American public by producing more doses.
  • Immunizing more people by launching more community vaccination centers and utilizing mobile labs to reach isolated areas.
  • Funding local, state-based providers for the vaccine administration cost.
  • Promote COVID-19 immunizations with public education campaigns.
  • Closely monitor vaccine trials, administration, and efficacy while simplifying the data system to record the vaccination progress.
  • Hire more public healthcare workers to help with the vaccination rollout nationwide.

How Will the COVID-19 Response Affect Workers’ Safety?

The new administration’s COVID-19 Response requirements will comply with OSHA’s existing workers’ healthcare regulations and even issue more robust workplace safety guidelines to protect workers and the workplace amid the pandemic. The federal government will collaborate with the state governments to implement new strategies and take swift actions to protect American workers’ health and safety while preventing them from contracting COVID -19 in the workplace. The program will promote mask mandates in accordance with CDC’s protocols, testing, treatments, and modify public health standards as needed.

1.      Collaboration with OSHA and MSHA:

Based on the president’s upcoming executive order, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) may issue an updated COVID-19 workplace safety guidance to promote workers’ safety. The order will also direct the Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA) to consider updating their guidance on COVID-19 regulations, including the temporary emergency standards such as mandated onsite mask-usage.

2.      New COVID-19 Workplace Safety Standards:

President Biden’s program will cover those workers not typically covered by either OSHA or MSHA. The new national strategy will direct agencies like the Department of Transportation to update and implement workers’ safety regulations to promote workplace safety amid this pandemic. The plan of action will also involve temporary extension and expansion of emergency paid leave, which will allow OSHA to issue new COVID-19 workplace standards covering a broad set of workers, including many public healthcare workers on the front-lines.

3.      Financial Support:

The president’s national strategy will support state and public organizations financially by providing additional funding for worker health and safety enforcement nationwide and allowing them to protect their vulnerable workers from contracting COVID-19 at the workplace.

How Will This Program Oversee School Reopenings Nationwide?

Since the beginning of the pandemic, school closures have been a big issue. Though many school districts and colleges reopened with optional in-person education, several educational organizations continue to struggle to protect their workforce and students from possible COVID-19 exposures. The president plans to develop clear, evidence-based, actionable guidance for a nationwide school reopening while keeping the educators’ and students’ health and students in mind. The program will focus on:

  • Funding resources to expand worksite testing
  • Implementing additional premise sanitation
  • Improving infrastructure with better ventilation in schools to support the safe school reopen plan

The plan will also support the local educational organizations financially to purchase rapid tests, increase onsite lab capacity if applicable, and introduce regular onsite testing in schools.

How Will This Program Help with Pandemic Preparedness for the Future?

The coronavirus pandemic proved that the world is not safe from biological threats, and a small pathogen can threaten the public health, economy, and overall lifestyle across the globe. Addressing such global threats requires a combined approach from the USA and other countries. President Biden’s plan aims to collaborate with the WHO (World Health Organization) to restore the American support in participating in international health and humanitarian efforts. The proposal may also focus on funding research and other technologies to help track any new virus strains and other contagious pathogens with the potential of causing another global pandemic.

Axiom Medical understands the severity of this global pandemic. We will help organizations to combat this national healthcare crisis by implementing the new COVID-19 Response Program and strategies. Our workplace COVID-19 safety program includes mass testing, onsite COVID-19 testing, mobile labs, screening programs such as CRIA (Contagious Respiratory Illness Assessment), and CheckIn2Work and CheckIn2School. We can help you keep your workplace and workforce safe from COVID-19.

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