Key parts of Biden's plan to confront delta variant surge

President Joe Biden has unveiled a new strategy to confront the COVID-19 surge that’s being driven by the spread of the delta variant

Key parts of the plan:

VACCINE MANDATES

— All federal workers and contractors must get vaccinated, with limited exceptions.

— Private employers with 100 or more workers will have to require them to be vaccinated or tested weekly. Employers must provide paid time off for vaccination.

— About 17 million health care workers in hospitals, clinics and other facilities that accept Medicare and Medicaid payments must get vaccinated.

— Some 300,000 employees of Head Start early childhood education and other federal education programs must get vaccinated.

SCHOOLS AND EVENTS

— Governors are urged to require vaccination for school district employees.

— The federal government will continue to follow through with money for widespread testing in schools.

— Stadiums, concert halls and other venues for large events are urged to require proof of vaccination or negative COVID test.

BOOSTERS

— Federal agencies will lay the groundwork for a smooth booster shot campaign, starting the week of Sep. 20 — if the Food and Drug Administration authorizes or approves the boosters.

MASKS AND TESTING

— Mask requirements will continue for interstate travel and in federal buildings. The Transportation Security Administration will double fines on airline, train and other travelers who refuse to mask up.

— The number of pharmacies offering free testing will be expanded to 10,000.

— Walmart, Amazon and Kroger will offer at-home COVID tests at cost, about a 35% savings for consumers.

COVID CARE

— The Pentagon will double military medical teams helping local hospitals overwhelmed with virus patients.

— Federal agencies will boost shipments of a COVID-19 treatment known as monoclonal antibodies by 50%. Medical teams will be dispatched to help administer the treatments.

ECONOMY

— Top loan amounts for small businesses affected by the pandemic will be increased to $2 million from $500,000 currently.

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