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Photo: Jessica Rinaldi/The Boston Globe via Getty Images

Massachusetts announced Wednesday that most nursing home workers will be required be fully vaccinated against the coronavirus by Oct. 10.

Driving the news: The requirement comes as cases driven by the Delta variant rise across the U.S. and Massachusetts reported 883 new COVID-19 cases Wednesday.

  • The state has 378 nursing facilities, as well as the two long-term care facilities for veterans in Massachusetts. As of Aug. 2, 155 facilities had less than 75% of their staff fully vaccinated.

The big picture: The mandate applies to “all individuals employed directly or by contract” at long-term care facilities. Unvaccinated workers must get at least one dose by Sept. 1, and be fully vaccinated by Oct. 10.

  • Workers can request an exemption for medical reasons or sincerely held religious beliefs.
  • The requirement is meant to “strengthen infection control and protect vulnerable residents.”

What they're saying: “Today’s actions reinforce the state’s commitment to ensuring the safety and care for these residents, some of our most vulnerable residents,” a statement from Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker's office said.

Go deeper

Sep 25, 2021 - Health

Federal judge upholds Cincinnati health care system's COVID vaccine mandate

Photo: Jason Armond/Los Angeles Times via Getty Images

A federal judge ruled Friday that a health care provider serving the Northern Kentucky and Greater Cincinnati region can issue mandates requiring its more than 10,000 employees to get vaccinated or risk termination.

Why it matters: It's the latest ruling to uphold U.S. private employers' right to issue vaccine mandates, and comes after President Biden signed an executive order requiring vaccinations or once-a-week testing for companies with more than 100 employees.

White House says it expects federal contractors to be vaccinated by Dec. 8

Photo: Stefani Reynolds/Bloomberg via Getty Images

The White House said in new guidance Friday that it expects millions of federal contractors to be vaccinated against the coronavirus no later than Dec. 8.

Why it matters: Companies with federal contractors have been waiting for formal guidance from the White House before requiring those employees to get vaccinated, according to Reuters.

Updated Sep 24, 2021 - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

  1. Vaccines: CDC director maintains Pfizer booster recommendation for high-risk workers — CDC director approves Pfizer boosters, adds eligibility for high-risk workers — FDA approves Pfizer boosters for high-risk individuals, people 65 and up.
  2. Health: America's mismatched COVID fears — Some experts see signs of hope as cases fall — WHO: Nearly 1 in 4 Afghan COVID hospitals shut after Taliban takeover — D.C. goes further than area counties with vaccine mandates.
  3. Politics: Bolsonaro isolating after health minister tests positive at UN summit — United Airlines says 97% of U.S. employees fully vaccinated — Mormon Church to mandate masks in temples.
  4. Education: Health care workers and teachers caught up in booster confusion — Asymptomatic Florida students exposed to COVID no longer have to quarantine — Education Department investigating Texas mask mandate ban.
  5. Variant tracker: Where different strains are spreading.