Fox Corp., which earned a shout-out from President Joe Biden for its firm Covid-19 policies, will now require daily tests for the “small number” of its employees who remain unvaccinated.
In a company-wide memo obtained by Deadline, HR chief Kevin Lord said more than 90% of full-time Fox employees have been vaccinated. He wrote that the company is “pleased” with that tally and views it as “important information” in planning for the future, particularly office arrangements and the return of workers.
At the same time, he also announced daily testing for those who have not been vaccinated or have declined to disclose their vaccine status. Details about the protocol will be shared with “relevant employees” in the “near future,” he added.
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At the same time the parent company is keeping the workforce accountable, Fox News, particularly in its nightly opinion blocks, has aired a considerable amount of vaccine skepticism. Over the summer, Sean Hannity and other personalities caused waves by affirming their support of “the science” and vaccination. At the same time those testimonials aired, however, the channel was continuing to air segments in which skeptics expressed a negative outlook on vaccination.
Biden recently took the dramatic step of requiring all businesses with 100 or more employees to make vaccination mandatory. Several Republican governors and lawmakers have vowed to sue the Administration over the move.
Prior to Biden’s action, group settings from colleges to private workplaces to sports teams have relied on weekly or random testing in order to limit the spread of the virus. Daily testing has generally not been a common tactic. But Biden took the step, as summer’s mild weather faces an end in much of the country and with the Delta variant keeping U.S. infection rates stubbornly high.
Here is Lord’s full memo:
Following our request for employees to upload their vaccination status in our secure system, we are pleased to share that more than 90% of our full-time employees reported that they are fully vaccinated. This is important information for our company to know as we continue to implement our phased return to office timing and procedures.
Soon we will introduce another important health and safety measure for access to our facilities – daily COVID testing for the small group of employees who are not vaccinated or have not provided their vaccination status. Additional details about this protocol will be shared with the relevant employees in the near future.
We appreciate your continued cooperation as we work together in the best interests of our shared well-being. Thank you for being a valued FOX team member as an exciting fall season across our business is already underway.
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