COVID-19 and the Workforce: January 7, 2022

TOP HEADLINES 

SHRM Research: Most Employers Say They Can Endure Omicron 
SHRM – January 5, 2022 
SHRM (the Society for Human Resource Management) released the results of a pulse survey of executives today that shows most of those business leaders—87 percent—believe their organization would be able to endure an outbreak of the omicron variant of COVID-19. 

U.S. Weekly Jobless Claims Total 207,000, Higher than Expected Amid Omicron Spread 
CNBC – January 6, 2022  
Initial claims for unemployment insurance rose a bit more than expected as the omicron variant spread rapidly through the U.S., the Labor Department reported Thursday. 

How to Ask Employees About Vaccination Status 
SHRM – January 4, 2022 
Under the Occupational Safety and Health Administration’s emergency temporary standard, currently being reviewed by the U.S. Supreme Court, employers with at least 100 workers have until Jan. 10 to determine the vaccination status of each employee. 

What’s New from the CDC 
Keep up with all the latest information on COVID-19 directly from the resources created by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.  

GLOBAL NEWS 

AUSTRALIA 
Australia to Push Ahead with Reopening Amid Record COVID-19 Cases 
Reuters – January 3, 2022 
Australia’s government said the milder impact of the Omicron strain of COVID-19 meant the country could push ahead with plans to reopen the economy even as new infections hit a record of more than 37,000 and the number of people hospitalized rose. 

CANADA 
Judges’ Decisions Help Shed Light on Legality of Workplace Vaccine Mandates 
CTV News – January 2, 2022 
A year after COVID-19 vaccines first arrived in Canada, employers and workers in the country’s most populous province are getting a clearer picture of when and what kind of immunization mandates can be enforced in the workplace, legal experts said following recent rulings on the issue. 

INDIA 
Low COVID Vaccination Rate Fuels Fear that Fast-Growing Omicron Wave Could Hit India Hard 
CBS News – January 3, 2022 
India could be in the grip of an intense third wave of coronavirus infections within weeks as cases of the new Omicron variant rise sharply. Experts estimate that the wave could peak in the middle of February, driven primarily by the highly contagious strain. 

UNITED KINGDOM 
Amid Omicron Surge, UK PM Johnson Resists Another Lockdown 
Reuters – January 4, 2022 
British Prime Minister Boris Johnson has resisted imposing stringent lockdown measures in England, betting that a vaccine booster drive and caution among the population would be enough to constrain the latest wave. 

UNITED STATES 
U.S. COVID Cases Rise to Pandemic High as Delta and Omicron Circulate at Same Time 
CNBC – December 29, 2021 
U.S. COVID cases have hit their highest level of the pandemic as two highly infectious variants circulate throughout the country and health officials urge Americans to get vaccinated and boosted against the virus. 

POLAND 
No New COVID Restrictions, Health Minister Says 
The First News – January 5, 2022 
No further sanitary restrictions are planned at the moment despite a rise in COVID-19 infections in the past days, Poland’s health minister said on Wednesday. 

Post by Jasmine Patel

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