Sep 13, 2021 - Politics

Biden's vaccine rule to affect 1.4 million private workers statewide

President Joe Biden speaks at a podium outdoors.

Photo: Saul Loeb/AFP via Getty Images

About 1.4 million Minnesota workers at private businesses would fall under President Biden's new vaccination mandate.

Driving the news: Biden announced on Thursday that private employers with 100 or more workers would need to require their workers to be vaccinated, or test them once a week.

Separately, Biden and Gov. Tim Walz issued orders requiring many federal and state workers to get vaccinated.

Zoom in: Minnesota has about 4,800 businesses that would qualify under the vaccination mandate, representing 1.4 million workers, state Department of Employment and Economic Development Commissioner Steve Grove told Axios.

What they're saying: "It could have a serious impact on businesses meeting the needs of their customers in terms of supply chains, products, and services," Minnesota Chamber of Commerce president Doug Loon told KARE 11. "We're very concerned about that. Without a workforce, we don't have the economic engine that we need here in Minnesota to fully recover."

Of note: Given Minnesota's high vaccination rate, the number of employees opting for testing instead of a shot could be fairly small at many workplaces.

  • At the state level, about 1,400 of the 40,000 government employees subject to the new requirement are expected to participate in a testing alternative in the metro, per MPR News' Brian Bakst.

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