ISACo Federal Update - November 8, 2021

11/8/2021 Joe McCoy

This Illinois State Association of Counties (ISACo) Federal Update for November 8, 2021, provides information about the recently released Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) emergency rule to mandate COVID-19 vaccination/testing for large employers, includes information about a court challenge to the emergency rule, reports on CDC authorization for children aged 5-11 to receive the vaccine, announces upcoming National Association of Counties (NACo) webinar opportunities, spotlights ISACo corporate partner Wight & Company and invites counties to join ISACo.

OSHA Releases New Rule on COVID-19 Vaccination and Testing

On November 4, 2021, the U.S. Department of Labor’s (USDOL) OSHA issued an emergency temporary standard (ETS) to require large employers to develop, implement and enforce a COVID-19 vaccination policy or institute a policy to allow employees to choose between vaccination and weekly testing.

The ETS applies to employers with 100 employees or more that are subject to the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970. This includes county governments located in the 26 states with OSHA-approved state plans, which are OSHA-approved workplace safety and health programs operated by individual states or U.S. territories. Illinois is one of these states.

The ETS took effect on November 5, 2021, (subject to a stay as discussed below) and covered employees must have their vaccination policies in place within 30 days. The deadline for employees to be fully vaccinated or begin regular testing is January 4, 2022.

Notable items included in the ETS are as follows:

  • 100-employee threshold
  • Paid leave and testing costs
  • Compliance deadlines
  • Penalties
  • Comment period
  • Length of enforcement 

Following release of the ETS, a panel of judges on the federal Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals issued a stay to temporarily block implementation after more than two dozen states filed lawsuits against the mandate, asserting constitutional and procedural issues. Click on this link for more information about this challenge. ISACo will provide updates on this court challenge as they arise.

Click on this link to view a summary of the ETS prepared by NACo.

Click on this link to view additional resources available on the U.S. Department of Labor's OSHA website. Resources include sample templates for mandatory vaccine, testing and mask policies. 

Counties wishing to submit comments on the proposed ETS can do so by clicking on this link and selecting "Submit a Formal Comment." There are 28-days remaining to submit comments as of November 8.

CDC Approves Vaccine for Children Aged 5-11

On November 2, 2021, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) approved the use of COVID-19 vaccines for children aged 5-11 following the Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) recommendation. The CDC’s endorsement follows the FDA’s recommendation on October 29 to authorize emergency use of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine to include children 5-11 years of age.

Upcoming NACo Webinars

NACo has announced the following upcoming webinar opportunities:

Affordable Housing as a Driver of Economic Mobility: Tools for Counties & Cities

(Tuesday, November 9, 2021, 2:00-3:00pm CST)

Presented in partnership with the National League of Cities.

Housing is the backbone of economic development for communities and supports economic mobility and opportunity for individuals. Safe and affordable housing allows businesses to attract workers and individuals and families to access improved educational and employment opportunities, workforce training and other resources to improve their financial well-being and long-term mobility. The American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) has provided a unique opportunity for local governments to make a significant investment in long-term housing solutions. This webinar will feature expert guidance for cities and counties, innovative housing work by city and county leaders, and a forthcoming tool from the National Association of Counties and the Aspen Institute Financial Security Program to support local policymaking.

Click on this link to register for this event.

Using Liquidity Data to Outpace Benchmarks

(Wednesday, November 10, 2021, 12:00-1:00pm CST)

Join Commissioner Sean Kertes and Director of Financial Administration Meghan McCandless of Westmoreland County, Pennsylvania to discuss how their county maximized the value of their cash through liquidity data and banking-services monitoring, outpacing benchmarks by 400%. Since 2017, Westmoreland County was able to bring $4.31 million back to its taxpayers by leveraging liquidity technology and improving operational efficiencies and resources in cash management. These enhancements have also been instrumental for the county with the influx of CARES and ARPA funds.

Click on this link to register for this event.

Corporate Sponsor Spotlight 

This week's corporate partner spotlight highlights ISACo's partnership with Wight & Company.

For more than 80 years, Wight & Company has helped clients create exceptional, enduring buildings and spaces that enrich people's lives. Wight also specializes in providing professional services for transportation and infrastructure projects for counties, municipalities, state agencies, and private landowners.

More information about the services by Wight & Company is available via this link.

Click on this link to learn more about the benefits and opportunities available through ISACo's Corporate Partner Program.

Become an ISACo Member!

Is your county a member of ISACo? If not, why not?

ISACo is a statewide association whose mission is to empower county officials to provide excellent service to their residents.

ISACo member counties are comprised of forward-thinking public servants who recognize that the challenges confronting county governments require new and innovative ideas, collaborative solutions and collective advocacy at the state and federal levels of government.

Members of the association will benefit from education and training opportunities, peer-to-peer networking, shared resources and robust representation before policymakers at various levels of government. ISACo creates and connects county officials to these opportunities and successfully equips them to make counties ideal places to live, work and play.

If your county is interested in discussing membership in ISACo, please contact Executive Director Joe McCoy at (217) 679-3368 or ISACo member counties are listed here. Thank you for your consideration.