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OSHA withdraws vaccine and testing mandate, effective Jan. 26

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The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) is withdrawing its vaccination and testing emergency temporary standard, effective Wednesday.

The move follows a Jan. 13 ruling by the Supreme Court blocking a Biden administration effort to require employees of large employers to get a COVID-19 vaccine or undergo weekly testing and wear a mask.

The court ruled 6-3 in the employer case with the court’s conservative majority concluding the administration overstepped its authority by seeking to impose the OSHA vaccine-or-test rule on U.S. businesses with at least 100 employees. More than 80 million people would have been affected.

Supreme Court blocks vaccine mandate for large employers

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The Supreme Court today issued a ruling blocking a Biden administration effort to require employees of large employers to get a COVID-19 vaccine or undergo weekly testing and wear a mask.

The court, however, allowed a vaccine mandate for most U.S. health care workers.

The court ruled 6-3 in the employer case, which applies to organizations with at least 100 employees.

OSHA releases update regarding COVID-19 vaccine mandate

Information follows Friday court decision on OSHA’s Emergency Temporary Standard

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The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) released an update on the “COVID-19 Vaccination and Testing” Emergency Temporary Standard (ETS) in the wake of Friday’s federal court ruling reinstating the Biden administration’s mandate for vaccination or testing.

The ETS applies to employers with 100 or more employees companywide. It states that “covered employers must develop, implement and enforce a mandatory COVID-19 vaccination policy, unless they adopt a policy requiring employees to choose to either be vaccinated or undergo regular COVID-19 testing and wear a face covering at work.”

OSHA's statement addresses providing employers time to come into compliance with the ETS requirements.

ATSSA urges governors to include roadway workers in Phase 1b of the COVID-19 vaccine plan

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ATSSA President & CEO Stacy Tetschner sent a letter today to the nation’s governors asking them to include roadway construction personnel and the manufacturers of roadway safety devices and construction machinery in Phase 1b of the COVID-19 vaccination plan as defined by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).  

The CDC’s Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) recommended the group deemed as essential critical infrastructure be included in Phase 1b. Frontline workers such as emergency responders and teachers are also included in this phase.

Roadway infrastructure industry personnel were deemed essential critical infrastructure workers last spring by the Department of Homeland Security. 

ATSSA urged CDC to include critical infrastructure workers in next COVID vaccination phase

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Despite urging by ATSSA to include road construction workers and the manufacturers of roadway safety devices and construction machinery in phase 1b of the COVID-19 vaccination allocation process, a committee of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) denied the request.

Instead, after meeting on Sunday, the CDC’s Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) voted to recommend that Americans who are 75 and older and who live independently be included in the next phase of vaccinations. They voted to place the group deemed as essential critical infrastructure in the following phase.

The committee cited the high death rates among elderly Americans, the current short-supply of the vaccine and the smaller size of the group as compared to the DHS-designated group as the reasons for the recommendation. Frontline workers such as emergency responders and teachers were also included in the next phase.