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Vaccine Requirement for Kids to Enter NYC Restaurants Among Strict New COVID Restrictions

Newsweek reported:

New York City will require proof of coronavirus vaccination for children ages 5 to 11 to enter restaurants, gyms, theaters and other places. Beginning Dec. 14, children between 5 and 11 will have to receive their first shot to be able to eat in restaurants, use indoor fitness areas and for indoor entertainment spaces such as movie theaters, museums, arcades and other places.

Mayor Bill de Blasio announced the mandate on Monday morning, citing the new Omicron variant and ongoing Delta surge as reasons to take a new step to reduce the spread of the coronavirus.

The mayor also announced a “first-in-the-nation” vaccine mandate for all private-sector workers that goes into effect Dec. 27.

New York City Imposes Vaccine Mandate for All Private-Sector Employers, Mayor De Blasio Says

CNBC reported:

New York City is imposing a vaccine mandate for all private-sector employers as a preemptive measure to fight a surge of COVID cases this winter, Mayor Bill de Blasio announced on Monday.

The mandate covers 184,000 businesses and will go into effect on Dec. 27, and it doesn’t give unvaccinated employees the option to get tested regularly, de Blasio said. They must have at least one dose by that date. The policy applies to in-person employees who are in a workplace with other co-workers, de Blasio said during a news conference Monday.

Senate Set to Vote on Bill Barring Biden Vaccine Mandate, Likely to Pass With Manchin Support

Fox News reported:

The Senate is set to vote this week on a resolution to nullify President Biden’s vaccine mandate for private companies, as Republicans and at least one Democrat push back on the administration’s rule requiring vaccines or inconvenient testing rules for workers at large businesses.

All 50 Senate Republicans, led by Sen. Mike Braun, R-Ind., backed a challenge to the vaccine mandate last month under the Congressional Review Act (CRA). That law allows Congress to officially disapprove of an executive branch regulation via a resolution passed through each chamber.

Sen. Joe Manchin, D-W.Va., said last week he also supports the Braun resolution.

More Than 40,000 March in Vienna Against Coronavirus Lockdown

Reuters reported:

More than 40,000 people marched through Vienna on Saturday to protest against a lockdown and plans to make vaccinations compulsory to curb the coronavirus pandemic.

Faced with a surge in infections, the government last month made Austria the first country in Western Europe to reimpose a lockdown and said it would make vaccinations mandatory from February.

“I am here because I am against forced vaccinations. I am for human rights, and the violation of human rights should be stopped,” one protester told Reuters Television. “We are protecting our children,” said another.

Cleveland Clinic, University Hospitals, Aultman Pause COVID Vaccine Worker Mandates

Akron Beacon Journal reported:

Cleveland Clinic, University Hospitals and Aultman Hospitals are pausing their requirements for employees to be vaccinated against COVID-19 after a federal judge temporarily blocked President Joe Biden’s mandate for healthcare workers from going into effect in Ohio.

The preliminary injunction temporarily blocks enforcement of the COVID-19 vaccine federal mandate by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services.

The clinic said that it will put in place additional safety requirements for employees who are unvaccinated, including periodic testing for those providing direct clinical care.

Digital Vaccine Passes Will Soon Be in More Than 30 States — Here’s How That Will Make Travel a Lot Easier

Forbes reported:

Travelers are being asked more often to show proof of vaccination at different points along a trip, whether that is to board an international flight, dine at a particular restaurant, visit a certain museum or attend a concert or play.

This trend cannot be dismissed as merely a coastal phenomenon. Bindle, a health verification app that helps venues verify attendees’ vaccine status, has hundreds of clients spanning more than 30 states, from blue strongholds like California and New York to red leaners like Texas, Florida, Arkansas, Missouri and Georgia.

While the United States does not have and will never have a federal vaccine pass, a growing number of states are recognizing the need to provide their residents with access to a digital proof of vaccine that can be easily verified.

I Worked at Rikers Island. Mishandling the Vaccine Mandate Could Cost Lives

Newsweek reported:

When I worked as a correction officer at Rikers Island, it was understood that you were going to do overtime on your first day back from your day off and on the last day before you were going to be off again.

But while overtime did occur, it was understood that there had to be limits, and for good reason: Being a correctional officer requires for you to be vigilant, awake and on your feet for most of the eight hours of a normal shift.

This rule book has been thrown out the window for most of the pandemic. NBC reported that correctional officers have been forced to work triple shifts for 24-hours straight, due to a shortage of officers, many of whom were out sick or had died of COVID-19. So it’s dismaying to see Mayor Bill de Blasio throwing fuel on this fire with a vaccine mandate that has already exacerbated the situation.

Dozens of Employees Fired for Refusing COVID Vaccine File Lawsuit Against Rady Children’s Hospital

The San Diego Union-Tribune reported:

More than three dozen nurses and other employees at Rady Children’s Hospital San Diego have sued the medical center alleging they were wrongfully fired for refusing to be vaccinated against COVID-19.

The plaintiffs, who filed their case in San Diego Superior Court late last month, accused Rady Children’s Hospital of violating their religious freedoms, among other allegations, by issuing blanket terminations rather than judiciously considering applications for religious exemptions.

Federal Appeals Court Lifts Block on San Diego Unified School District’s COVID Vaccine Mandate

The San Diego Union-Tribune reported:

The 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals voted on Saturday to lift a block that it had placed on San Diego Unified School District’s student coronavirus vaccine mandate.

The rare weekend decision, reached by a 2-1 vote, lifts a temporary injunction the court had placed on the mandate about a week ago. Judges had said the injunction would continue as long as the district continued to allow vaccine deferrals for pregnant students. But now that San Diego Unified removed that condition, the block has been removed, too.

Ralliers Across Longmont, Boulder Protest Vaccine Passports Saturday

Longmont Times-Call reported:

More than 200 people marched Saturday through downtown Boulder to protest vaccine passports in indoor settings. The crowd rallied past late-morning brunch-goers eating outside, people waiting in line to get a photo with Santa near the Boulder County Courthouse and weekend shoppers bustling from shop to shop.

Boulder County is among Colorado counties with a vaccine verification program that’s optional to business owners. The program allows businesses to opt out of the indoor mask order, if they assure that at least 95% of the people they’re serving have been vaccinated. This requires customers to prove their vaccination status through several options, including with a photo or copy of their COVID-19 vaccination record card.

Patients Waiting for Life-Saving Organ Transplant to Be Denied Treatment Unless Vaccinated

Newsweek reported:

In Queensland, Australia, patients will have to be vaccinated against the coronavirus in order to receive vital organ transplants.

Queensland Health confirmed that a patient seeking to receive a kidney, lung or heart transplant must have “a minimum requirement of two doses of an approved COVID-19 vaccine,” 7News reported Monday. The policy will be reviewed in February.

Belgian Police Use Water, Tear Gas on COVID Protesters

Associated Press reported:

Belgian police used water cannon and tear gas Sunday to disperse some rowdy protesters in Brussels after most demonstrators marched peacefully to protest tightened COVID-19 restrictions that aim to counter a surge of coronavirus infections.

Thousands came to reject the new measures announced Friday, the third week in a row that the government has tightened its rules as an avalanche of new cases strains the country’s health services, depriving people with other life-threatening diseases of treatment.

On Friday, Prime Minister Alexander De Croo announced that day care centers and primary schools will close for the holiday a week early, and children must now wear masks from the age of 6. Indoor events will only be allowed with a maximum of 200 people.

Unvaccinated Italians Face New Restrictions as Holidays Near

Associated Press reported:

Italy is making life more uncomfortable for unvaccinated people this holiday season, excluding them from indoor restaurants, theaters and museums starting Monday to reduce the spread of coronavirus and encourage vaccine skeptics to get their shots.

Italian police have been empowered to check whether diners in restaurants or bars have a “super” green health pass certifying that they are either vaccinated or have recently recovered from the virus. Smart phone applications that verify people’s health pass status have been updated to prevent entry to concerts, movies or performances to those who have merely tested negative in recent days. The measures run through Jan. 15.

In the capital, Rome, dozens of police were out at transportation hubs checking both green passes and personal identification, finding a cooperative mood among commuters.

Still, a 50-year-old Roman became the first to receive a 400-euro ($450) fine after getting off the bus at the northern Flaminio station without the “basic” health pass, said Stefano Napoli, deputy chief of Rome’s municipal police force.

Amazon’s Employee Surveillance Fuels Unionization Efforts: ‘It’s Not Prison, It’s Work’

The Seattle Times reported:

Courtenay Brown works in a giant refrigerated section of the Avenel, New Jersey, Amazon Fresh warehouse, sometimes 10 hours a day, making sure groceries find their way to the right delivery truck.

Amazon, which keeps tabs on workers through the handheld scanners they use to track inventory, regularly presses her to move more items with fewer people, she said. There are cameras everywhere. “They basically can see everything you do, and it’s all to their benefit,” Brown said. “They don’t value you as a human being. It’s demeaning.”

That sentiment, that Amazon’s culture of surveillance constitutes inhumane working conditions, has become fuel for unionization efforts to organize hundreds of thousands of workers at the country’s second-largest private employer.

Clearview AI’s ‘Search Engine for Faces’ Set to Receive Patent

Gizmodo reported:

Clearview AI, the notorious facial recognition company which has partnered with over 2,400 law enforcement agencies across the U.S, is about to receive a patent for what it describes as a first of its kind, “search engine for faces.”

In an interview with Politico, Clearview CEO Hoan Ton-That claimed his company’s tool would represent the first of its kind to use “large-scale internet data.”

That translates to, the first facial recognition service to scrape billions of photos from social media and other publicly available databases, almost always without users’ consent. That sweeping database of faces includes somewhere around 10 billion images, according to Ton-That.