covid19 Tag

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Office building employers, owners and managers can take proactive measures to create a safe and healthy workplace for employees, clients and other guests.

This article shares COVID-19 guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

Protect Employees

Employers should consider the following steps to protect their employees and other building visitors, while slowing the spread of COVID-19:

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Attending gatherings increases your risk of getting and spreading COVID-19. Generally speaking, the safest way to celebrate is to gather virtually, with people who live with you, or outside and at least 6 feet apart from others.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) provides guidance on ways to safely gather.

How to Make Small Gatherings Safer

The CDC recommends taking the following general steps to make small gatherings safer during the pandemic:

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News Brief header In a recent report, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) released findings on mask mandates and on-premise dining at restaurants.

Notably, the research found that—within 20 days of implementation—mask mandates were associated with a decrease in daily COVID-19 case and death growth rates. In addition, the findings indicate that allowing on-premises restaurant dining was associated with an increase in daily COVID-19 case growth rates 41–100 days after mask mandate implementation and an increase in daily death growth rates 61–100 days after mask mandate implementation.

News Brief header The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has released new guidance for people who have been fully vaccinated with a COVID-19 vaccine.

Such individuals have been given the go-ahead to resume many activities that have been on hold since the beginning of the pandemic.

What’s Changed

According to the CDC, people are considered fully vaccinated two weeks after their second dose in a two-dose series, like the Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna vaccines, or two weeks after a single-dose vaccine, like Johnson & Johnson’s vaccine. According to the guidance, people who have been fully vaccinated:

The $1.9 trillion relief bill, known as the American Rescue Plan, has been signed into law by President Joe Biden. Highlights of the bill include extended unemployment benefits, direct checks to individuals and more.

While some of the bill was changed during its time with Congress, it’s largely similar to the initial version passed by the House. However, some key provisions, such as a higher minimum wage, were scrapped amid efforts to pass the bill swiftly. This article outlines the most relevant provisions included in the bill.

News Brief header President Joe Biden recently announced that he is directing the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services to purchase an additional 100 million doses of the Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine.

The White House had announced earlier in March that drugmaker Merck & Co. will help produce competitor Johnson & Johnson’s COVID-19 vaccine to expand its production and supply. The administration invoked the Defense Production Act to get two Merck facilities up to the standards necessary to safely manufacture the Johnson & Johnson vaccine. However, it will take months to fully equip these plants.

News Brief header On Thursday, March 11, 2021, President Joe Biden directed states to make all adults, ages 18 and older, eligible for COVID-19 vaccinations by May 1.

The directive came during Biden’s first prime-time address, one year after the COVID-19 pandemic began and hours after signing his administration’s $1.9 trillion relief bill into law. The president announced that the country will have enough vaccines to open eligibility to everyone by May 1, two months sooner than original estimates. This tracks with Biden’s new goal: having in-person celebrations on the Fourth of July.

On April 28, 2020, the Departments of Labor (DOL) and the Treasury (Departments) issued deadline relief to help employee benefit plans, plan participants and plan service providers impacted by the COVID-19 outbreak.

Thereafter, on Feb. 26, 2021, DOL Disaster Relief Notice 2021-01 clarified the duration of this relief. The deadlines were initially extended by disregarding an Outbreak Period from March 1, 2020, until 60 days after the announced end of the National Emergency (or such other date announced by the Departments). Under federal law, this period could not exceed one year, meaning that the relief was expected to expire on Feb. 28, 2021.

Legal Update Header On Feb. 26, 2021, the Departments of Labor, Health and Human Services (HHS), and the Treasury issued FAQ guidance to clarify health coverage requirements related to COVID-19.

Coverage of COVID-19 Diagnostic Testing

Health plans and issuers must cover COVID-19 diagnostic items and services without cost-sharing. The FAQs explain that plans and issuers: