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COVID-19: Cases on the Rise; Association Urges Vaccine Requirement

COVID-19 cases continue to rise in nearly 90 percent of U.S. jurisdictions, according to the CDC COVID Data Tracker Weekly Review. As of July 24, 46 percent of U.S. counties reported high levels of community transmission, particularly areas with low vaccination rates.

America’s Essential Hospitals on July 21 called on its members to require employee vaccination.

“By requiring vaccination for all employees, essential hospitals can set the example we need to improve those numbers, turn back the pandemic’s latest assault, and build equity for all people,” association president and CEO Bruce Siegel, MD, MPH, wrote in a statement.

CDC Updates Vaccine, Infection Control Guidance

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC’s) Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) determined at a July 22 convening that the benefits of the Janssen COVID-19 vaccine outweigh the risks. This meeting came after increased reports of Guillain-Barré Syndrome in people who received this vaccine.

Meanwhile, media reports say CDC will recommend vaccinated people wear masks indoors in locations with high COVID-19 transmission rates. CDC also recommends fully vaccinated people who are immunocompromised due to a pre-existing condition or medication should continue to follow precautions to prevent COVID-19, including wearing a mask and practicing social distancing

CDC Webpage Highlights Health Equity COVID-19 Projects

CDC on July 22 added a “Health Equity in Action” page that includes examples of projects that support communities at higher risk for COVID-19, including people:

  • from racial and ethnic minority groups;
  • living in rural or frontier areas;
  • experiencing homelessness;
  • who are essential and front-line workers;
  • with disabilities;
  • with substance use disorders;
  • who are justice-involved; and
  • born outside of the United States.

The new page includes a list of CDC projects, a project spotlight, and resources for supporting high-risk communities.

Visit the America’s Essential Hospitals coronavirus resource page for more information about the pandemic.

Contact Senior Director of Policy Erin O’Malley at eomalley@essentialhospitals.org or 202.585.0127 with questions.

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About the Author

Emily Schweich is a senior communications associate for America's Essential Hospitals.

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