Fort Worth, TX – President Joe Biden revealed his latest Covid-19 plan and vaccine mandate for federal workers, healthcare workers and for companies that have more than 100 employees on Thursday, but still, many question remain unanswered.
Some of the major companies in Fort Worth already said they are preparing for the new mandate, while others announced vaccine requirement for their workers even before Biden’s announcement.
As of Friday, a start date for the plan has not been announced by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, the agency that Biden directed to draft the rule.
American Airlines CEO Doug Parker and President Robert Isom said they were reviewing the executive order and waiting for more details.
“The president’s actions underscore the importance of team members getting vaccinated against COVID-19 — and sooner rather than later,” the airline’s statement said.
American Airlines is offering incentives for U.S.-based mainline employees to get the vaccine, which include an extra day of paid vacation and $50 in Nonstop Thanks points.
Lockheed Martin made a statement that said the company would comply with government directives that help end the coronavirus pandemic, Defense News reported.
“As we have done throughout the pandemic, we continue to follow federal, state and local mandates, and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), to minimize the spread of COVID-19,” the statement said.
While the executive order applies to private employers, and not to state or local government employers, some North Texas schools said they will continue to look ahead at legal guidance for any possible changes to their policies.
Texas Gov. Greg Abbott issued an executive order in August barring public entities in the state from requiring their employees to get vaccinated.
On Wednesday, UT Arlington announced a plan to randomly test 20% of its campus population for coronavirus, regardless of vaccination status, each week. At the start of the fall semester, the university had required COVID-19 tests for all students and university employees, Chief Communications Officer Joe Carpenter said.
Fort Worth ISD will require masks inside all district buildings starting Monday following an appeal that put a pause on a temporary injunction sought by a group of parents. The injunction had previously blocked any mask mandates issued by Superintendent Kent P. Scribner.
On Aug. 26, the Fort Worth Board of Education trustees approved a resolution to implement a mask mandate as soon as Scribner was legally able to. But the board has not moved to require vaccines.
Karen Fitzgerald, Carroll ISD executive director of communications and engagement, said the district plans to continue following guidance from the Tarrant County Public Health Department and the Texas Education Agency.
Earlier in the spring Carroll ISD offered a vaccination clinic for teachers and staff but does not plan to offer additional clinics, Fitzgerald said.