With the FDA approval of the Pfizer vaccine, as expected, companies are beginning to tighten their vaccination requirements. Delta Air Lines is implementing a $200 monthly health insurance surcharge for unvaccinated workers citing that all Delta employees who have been hospitalized with COVID weren’t fully vaccinated putting a financial burden on the self-insured company. By the end of September, Delta will also only pay for missed time due to COIVD illness to fully vaccinated employees experiencing breakthrough infections. Following the announcement, the number of employees receiving their first COVID shot tripled compared to the typical daily rate. Penalizing unvaccinated individuals is not a new development as the National Football League announced last month that teams suffering a COVID outbreak among unvaccinated players will forfeit games and face financial fines to cover the opposing team’s expenses and revenue shortfalls. And, Walt Disney Company has reached a deal with the unions representing workers at Disney World to require around 40,000 workers to be fully vaccinated by October 22. Eric Clinton, union president, said, “This is personal protective equipment, just in the form of a shot,” he said. “It is the best line of defense for all of us and, in particular, front-line workers.” In 1965, Disney created four pillars to guide their cast members: Safety, Courtesy, Show, and Efficiency. Requiring vaccinations supported their first tenet of safety which includes practicing safe behaviors in everything they do and taking action to always put safety first.
The Tampa Bay Times reports that water users are being asked to cut back their use due to a liquid oxygen shortage in Florida. Tampa Bay Water relies on liquid oxygen to purify water used by more than 2.5 million people across Hillsborough, Pasco and Pinellas Counties. Tampa Bay Water announced beginning today that liquid oxygen will be replaced at their facility on a temporary basis by bleach. This morning we were down to 25% in our primary tank and the oxygen low level alarm was going off. Our supplier tells us that they will deliver additional oxygen by 8 pm tonight. If something were to happen to the delivery we would run out of oxygen in our primary tank sometime late tomorrow. Please continue to use oxygen carefully. Since we rely on daily deliveries now, heaven help us if there is a hurricane that would disrupt deliveries for a day or more.
CSSE is reporting 38,320,446 positive cases in the U.S. and 633,049 deaths.