INDIANAPOLIS — As part of President Joe Biden’s plan to combat the delta strain of the COVID virus, companies with over 100 employees will now be required to make sure their workers are vaccinated. If they are not, they will be required to get tested weekly.
“Some of the biggest companies already requiring this,” said President Biden during his speech Thursday night. “United Airlines, Disney, Tyson Food, and even Fox News.”
Area testing sites we spoke with believe labs will be able to handle the increased testing demand. They say the issue could come in the logistics of finding test sites. President Biden presented an alternative testing option in his speech.
“I’ll use the Defense Production Act to increase production of rapid tests, including those you can use at home,” detailed Biden.
Aria Diagnostics is a local testing lab. In the past few weeks, they have been seeing an increase in requests from corporations and federal agencies asking them to implement testing programs in their organizations. Aria has not required vaccines for their employees but does require testing twice a week if an employee is unvaccinated. Right now, they are footing the bill for that testing. They believe other companies will be doing the same under these new mandates.
“Insurance made open comments of not paying for travel, surveillance, or asymptomatic monitoring. This would fall in that category,” explained Vipin Adhlakha, president of Aria Diagnostics.
In his speech, President Biden said the government is working with companies like Kroger, Amazon and Walmart to provide at home test kits at lower costs. Those options will be on sale next week, and it will last for three months.
Indiana Gov. Eric Holcomb issued this statement Friday:
“I believe the vaccine is the number one tool that will protect us and our loved ones against COVID-19. It is the tool that will end the pandemic. However, I strongly believe it’s not the state or federal government’s role to issue a vaccine mandate upon citizens and private businesses. This is the approach our administration has taken all along. The announcement from President Biden is a bridge too far. Private businesses should be able to look at their own mission, their staff and their goals and make the decision best for them that will keep their doors open.
“I believe it is fundamentally a citizen’s right to choose whether or not to get the vaccine. While I wish everyone would get the vaccine, we are a country built on this exact type of freedom.”