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Federal employees must get vaccinated or face regular COVID testing, Biden says

Citing a spike in COVID cases caused by the delta variant, the president announces initiatives to get more Americans vaccinated, including a call for local governments to offer $100 vaccine incentives.

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Employees of the federal government must prove they're vaccinated against COVID-19 or get tested at least once a week, wear a mask, practice social distancing and submit to not being allowed to travel for work, President Joe Biden announced Thursday. 

The requirements will apply to all federal employees. Biden said that it's a matter of "how and when" the US Department of Defense will add COVID-19 vaccines to its required list of vaccinations for military members.

The announcement came as part of Biden's remarks on steps to get more Americans vaccinated as the delta variant continues to circulate around the US. During the briefing, the president also called on states and local governments to give $100 to people getting vaccinated for the first time. 

The announcement is a big shift for the Biden administration, which previously held that vaccination shouldn't be a "precondition" for employment by a federal agency. It followed similar requirements and mandates issued this week for employees of New York City, the state of California and the US Department of Veterans Affairs. On Tuesday, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommended that vaccinated Americans go back to wearing masks indoors if they live in areas with high COVID rates

The information contained in this article is for educational and informational purposes only and is not intended as health or medical advice. Always consult a physician or other qualified health provider regarding any questions you may have about a medical condition or health objectives.