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COVID vaccine mandate and its impact on businesses

Published: Oct. 17, 2021 at 3:58 PM PDT
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RENO, Nev. (KOLO) - Changes could be coming to private businesses with more than 100 employees.

On October 12 the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) sent a proposal to the Office of Management and Budget that would require those in the private sector fitting the criteria to get the COVID-19 vaccine or go through weekly testing.

“When you have a business that works primarily with a lot of people, like a grocery store or something, I think they ought to be able to mandate if they want to,” said Lance Combs, a retired United States Postal Service employee from Sparks, Nevada.

Combs and his wife, Veralyn, are for government intervention when it comes to keeping a large population safe.

“We remember Polio and how that affected kids and the shots. Look what happened. It helped,” Veralyn Combs added.

If OSHA’s federal rule goes into effect roughly 80 million workers - or two-thirds of the private workforce - will be impacted.

There is pushback, however.

The National Retail Federation wants a 90-day implementation window so as not to interfere with the upcoming holiday shopping season. The Republican National Committee also announced in September it will sue the Biden administration if the rule is put into place. They argue OSHA can only regulate workplace hazards, not a global health crisis.

The CDC says 65% of the US population has had at least one shot. 53% of the country’s people are fully vaccinated.

“After the shots I figured we were on the downward side (of the COVID case trend) then all of a sudden it all blows back up again,” said Combs. “Why wouldn’t you just get the shot and be protected?”

The penalty for not complying with OSHA’s proposal is a fine although it’s unclear how much the fine could be.

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