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White House Just Changed These Big COVID Rules for Everyone

Omicron is here in America. Here is the plan to fight it.
FACT CHECKED BY Emilia Paluszek

Today, President Joe Biden is set to announce a series of measures meant to stop the spread of the new Omicron coronavirus variant, and the existing Delta variant. "As we head into winter, today, the President will announce actions to provide additional protection to Americans and fight the Omicron and Delta variants, while keeping our economy growing," promised the White House. How does this affect you and your actions? Read on for 5 key takeaways—and to ensure your health and the health of others, don't miss these Sure Signs You've Already Had COVID.


All Eligible Adults Should Get a Booster Now, Due to Omicron and the Holidays

Nurse holding syringe

The CDC has changed their recommendation for all adults over 18—you should, not "may," get your booster when eligible. "Get boosted if you've been vaccinated for more than six months with an mRNA or two months with J&J," implores Dr. Anthony Fauci, the chief medical advisor to the President and the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases. "President Biden will announce new steps to ensure that the nearly 100 million eligible Americans who have not yet gotten their booster shot, get one as soon as possible," says the White House. "As we face the Omicron variant, boosters are more important than ever…Boosters increase the strength of your antibody response, so when the virus mutates, a booster makes it more likely that your antibodies can protect you against the new variant."

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You Will Face New Rules When Traveling

Middle aged couple at an airport during coronavirus pandemic.

Biden will announce "fresh travel restrictions, including a requirement that international travelers must show proof of a negative coronavirus test taken within a day before departing for the United States," reports the New York Times. The current policy is less strict and requires that "all non-immigrant, non-citizen air travelers to the United States to be fully vaccinated and to provide proof of vaccination status prior to boarding an airplane to the United States." Travel for now remains restricted from Botswana, Eswatini, Lesotho, Malawi, Mozambique, Namibia, South Africa, and Zimbabwe due to fears over Omicron.

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Your Insurance Company Will Soon Pay For Your At-Home COVID Tests

Healthcare worker with protective equipment performs coronavirus swab on a woman.

"President Biden is set to announce on Thursday that private health insurance plans will soon reimburse people who buy over-the-counter at-home rapid tests for COVID-19 — one of a series of steps the White House is planning to encourage better detection and prevention of COVID this winter," reports NPR. "The bottom line is we are really pulling out all the stops to get Americans the maximum protection as we head into the winter months and as we face this new [omicron] variant," Natalie Quillian, the deputy White House COVID response coordinator, told the network.

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Your Employer Will Be Asked to Give You Paid Time Off to Get a Booster

Doctor's gloved hands using cotton before vaccine.

Biden will call on employers to give employees paid leave to get their booster shots. Again: "Get boosted if you've been vaccinated for more than six months with an mRNA or two months with J&J," implores Dr. Fauci.

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The Country Will Launch "Hundreds of Family Vaccination Clinics"

Temporary Corona vaccination center in warehouse with cabins.

"The President will announce a new effort to launch hundreds of family vaccination clinics across the country. Together, these clinics will offer vaccinations for the whole family – with first shots for parents, teens, and kids, and boosters for those eligible. This model builds on the Administration's ongoing efforts – in coordination with states, localities, providers and community leaders – to meet people where they are and make vaccinations accessible and convenient in communities across the country," said the White House. For the many other initiatives Biden plans to implement—including "Continued Commitment to Global Vaccination Efforts" and "Steps to Ensure We Are Prepared for All Scenarios"—see here. And get your vaccine, or a booster, and to protect your life and the lives of others, don't visit any of these 35 Places You're Most Likely to Catch COVID.

Alek Korab
Alek Korab is a Co-Founder and Managing Editor of the ETNT Health channel on Eat This, Not That! Read more
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