NC companies react to vaccination, testing rules

North Carolina news

RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) – Tens of thousands of people in the Triangle could be impacted by the new federal vaccine mandate.

The Biden administration is working on a plan for companies with more than 100 employees to require them to be vaccinated or undergo weekly testing.

That means a variety of workplaces like Epic Games, Home Depot, CVS, and more.

A spokesperson from Home Depot said:

“We’re evaluating these new developments. We don’t currently require associates to get vaccinated. We’re communicating regularly with associates through our internal channels to encourage COVID-19 vaccination, and we provide information and resources to make it easier for our associates to get the vaccine.”

Policy experts said it’s hard to know what impact it’ll have since we don’t know how many of these employees have already been vaccinated.

“My question would be: ‘Will enough of that happen fast enough or at a large enough number to sort of move the needle as we move into the fall and into the winter?'” said John Quinterno, visiting professor of practice at Duke University’s Sanford School of Public Policy.

A Lowes Foods spokesperson said the announcement raises more questions than answers — like when will rules be released, how long will people have to get vaccinated, and how available will tests be?

“It is a potentially very large scope, but then again, many institutions in that category may have already required the vaccine themselves, I’m thinking of a place like Duke for example,” said Quinterno.

In the Triangle, SAS requires its 5,000 employees to be vaccinated if going into the office.

Red Hat requires the same for their 2,500 workers in the Triangle.

The plan also calls for federal employees to be required to be vaccinated without an option to do weekly testing instead.

There are about 70,000 federal workers in the state, not including military members.

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