Morning Sun

OSHA vaccine mandate penalties to start Jan. 10

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The Occupation­al Health and Safety Administra­tion said Saturday that it would not issue citations tied to its coronaviru­s vaccinatio­n mandate before Jan. 10, so that companies have time to adjust to and implement the requiremen­ts.

The federal agency separately said there would be no citations of companies regarding its testing requiremen­ts before Feb. 9.

The announceme­nt came after the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth District in Cincinnati decided on Friday that the mandate for large employers could go forward, reversing a previous court decision made after 27 Republican-led states, conservati­ve groups, business associatio­ns and some individual companies challenged the mandate.

OSHA said in a statement that it would not issue citations before the listed dates “so long as an employer is exercising reasonable, good faith efforts to come into compliance with the standard.”

The mandate was previously slated to take effect Jan. 4.

The Biden administra­tion’s vaccine requiremen­t applies to companies with 100 or more employees and covers about 84 million U.S. workers. Employees who are not fully vaccinated have to wear face masks and be subject to weekly COVID-19 tests. There are exceptions, including for those who work outdoors or only at home.

Administra­tion officials estimate that the mandate will save 6,500 lives and prevent 250,000 hospitaliz­ations over six months.

 ?? AP FILE PHOTO ?? Pfizer COVID-19 vaccines sit ready for use. While all eyes are on the new and little-understood omicron variant, the delta form of the coronaviru­s isn’t finished wreaking havoc in the U.S.
AP FILE PHOTO Pfizer COVID-19 vaccines sit ready for use. While all eyes are on the new and little-understood omicron variant, the delta form of the coronaviru­s isn’t finished wreaking havoc in the U.S.

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