CDC director asks unvaccinated Americans not to travel over Labor Day weekend

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The White House points to a growing number of jobs that require vaccination

The director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) would like unvaccinated Americans to stay at home over the Labor Day holiday weekend and not risk venturing out where they can pick up or transmit COVID-19.

"First and foremost, if you are unvaccinated, we would recommend not traveling," CDC Director Dr. Rochelle Walensky urged during a briefing at the White House on Tuesday.

And Walensky can back that request up. This week, the CDC forecast that the number of newly reported COVID-19 deaths will likely increase over the next four weeks, with anywhere from 5,800 to 18,600 new deaths likely to occur by September 25, 2021. If that happens, the CDC's predictive model estimates that a total of 666,000 to 697,000 COVID-19 deaths will be reported by that date.

Walensky said her agency “carefully” watches travel health notices every single day. “Those look at testing capacity as well as case rates. And we update our travel guidance by country in real time,” she said.

“We have actually articulated that people who are fully vaccinated and who are wearing masks can travel. Although given where we are with disease transmission right now, we would say that people need to take their own — these risks into their own consideration as they think about traveling.”

White House lays out more reasons for vaccination

The White House suggested that a better trip to take over the Labor Day weekend would be to get vaccinated if you’re not already -- especially those who are looking for work.

“Notably, the share of job postings that require vaccinations are up 90% according to,” said Jeff Zients, the White House Coronavirus Response Coordinator. 

Zients certainly did his homework. When ConsumerAffairs checked for vaccination requirements, we found everything from a part-time job as a Distillery Associate at Michter's Distillery in Louisville, Ky., to a package sorter for Amazon in Victorville, Calif., required proof of vaccination. 

Companies are making it worth a job applicant’s while, too. As an example, the package sorter gig at Amazon comes with a $4,000 sign-on bonus.

“Bottom line: Vaccination requirements work. They drive up vaccination rates. And we need more businesses and other employers, including healthcare systems, school districts, colleges and universities to step up and do their part to help end the pandemic faster,” Zients stated.

“We need more individuals to step up too. As people across the country prepare for Labor Day weekend, it’s critical that being vaccinated is part of their pre-holiday checklist. Getting vaccinated is free. It’s easy and convenient. It’s safe and effective. And it’s never, ever been more important.”

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