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President Biden speaks on workers' rights and labor unions at the White House on Sept. 8. Photo: Kevin Dietsch/Getty Images

More than 80 million Americans working in the private sector will be required to receive a COVID-19 vaccine or produce a negative test result at least once a week, a senior Biden administration official said Thursday.

Why it matters: The new rule, to be developed by the Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), underscores the Biden administration's ramped-up efforts to control the virus as cases and hospitalizations largely driven by the Delta variant surge nationwide.

Driving the news: OSHA is developing the rule that will require vaccinations or once-a-week testing for companies with more than 100 employees, set to be implemented in the coming weeks, per the White House official.

The big picture: The Biden administration unveiled a six-pronged plan to respond to the virus on Thursday, which includes efforts to encourage vaccinations and bolster protections for the vaccinated, among other areas.

  • Health care workers at Medicare and Medicaid participating hospitals and other health care settings — more than 17 million people — will also be required to get vaccinated.
  • The administration is also preparing boosters to start as early as the week of Sept. 20.
  • President Biden will also sign an executive order requiring most federal employees to get the COVID vaccine, without the option of getting regular testing instead, Axios previously reported.

Other components of the six-part plan include:

  • Urging large entertainment venues to require proof of vaccination or testing for entry.
  • Requiring staff in school settings — including at the Head Start programs, youth program personnel at the Department of Defense and at the Bureau of Indian Education-Operated Schools — to be vaccinated.
  • Providing funding to school districts to support reopening, including backfilling salaries.
  • Bolstering COVID-19 testing, including increasing supply of over-the-counter at-home tests, and reducing the cost of at-home tests by ensuring top manufacturers — Walmart, Amazon and Kroger — sell at-cost for the next three months.

What to watch: Biden is expected to announce the plan during a speech scheduled for 5pm ET Thursday.

Read the full plan here:

Go deeper: Biden to mandate COVID vaccines for federal workers, with no option for testing

Go deeper

12 hours ago - Health

Biden administration to lift travel ban for fully vaccinated international travelers

Photo: Win McNamee/Getty Images

White House COVID-19 response coordinator Jeff Zients announced on Monday that the Biden administration will allow fully vaccinated travelers from around the world to enter the U.S. beginning in November.

Why it matters: The announcement comes as President Biden seeks commitments from countries to donate vaccines to the global COVAX initiative. He is expected to host a COVID summit on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly this week, and many of the countries attending have expressed frustration with the travel ban.

Updated 10 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

  1. Vaccines: Pfizer coronavirus vaccine safe, effective in children, company says — The COVID booster vaccine discussion is far from over — Cuba becomes first country to begin mass vaccination of children.
  2. Health: Chicago has highest COVID-19 case rates in city worker neighborhoods — International Mission Board to require COVID vaccine for missionaries.
  3. Politics: Biden administration to lift travel ban for fully vaccinated international travelers — Footage shows new details after NYC restaurant incident over proof of vaccination.
  4. Education: More schools using "test-to-stay" strategy to minimize quarantines — Most Kentucky school boards vote in favor of mask mandates —Denver looks to students to close Latino vaccination gap.
  5. Variant tracker: Where different strains are spreading.
Tina Reed, author of Vitals
14 hours ago - Health

More schools using "test-to-stay" strategy to minimize quarantines

Students sit in a classroom at a high school during the first day of classes in Novi, Mich., on Sept. 7, 2021. Photo: Emily Elconin/Bloomberg via Getty Images

After tens of thousands of kids were sent home to isolate due to COVID-19 exposure in the first days of in-person schooling, more districts are starting to pivot toward a "test-to-stay" strategy, the New York Times reports.

What's happening: Many schools are largely using a contact tracing method in which close contacts of someone who tests positive for the virus must isolate at home.