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Spring and the start of summer meant making reopening plans for many institutional and commercial facilities, from K-12 schools and universities to commercial office buildings. Now, the rapid spread of the delta variant of coronavirus has put a growing number of those plans in jeopardy.
Microsoft announced on Aug. 2 that it will require vaccinations for employees and others in its U.S. buildings beginning next month, according to The Seattle Times. The company also moved its planned opening date for U.S. offices to Oct. 4, from the previous target date of Sept. 7.
A Microsoft spokesperson said the company will have a process to accommodate employees who have a medical condition or other protected reason, such as religion, which prevent them from getting vaccinated.
The company also said caregivers of people who are immunosuppressed or parents of children who are too young to receive a vaccine can continue to work from home until January, and take advantage of Microsoft’s flexible work policies.
Many large U.S. employers have moved in recent days to requiring rather than merely encouraging vaccination against COVID-19. Meatpacker Tyson Foods announced Aug. 2 that it will require its 120,000 U.S. employees to be vaccinated fully this year and will pay them a $200 bonus to do so, reported CNBC. The company said 56,000 U.S. employees have been vaccinated. Office workers face a deadline of Oct. 1 to be vaccinated fully, while plant employees have until Nov. 1.
And McDonald's Corp. on Aug. 1 confirmed that all its customers and staff will need to start wearing masks again inside its U.S. restaurants in areas with high or substantial transmission, regardless of whether they are vaccinated or not, according to Reuters.
Dan Hounsell is Senior Editor, Facility Market.