Thursday’s announcement by the White House stated that Yelp, a review site and recommendation website, will introduce a feature that allows people to search businesses according to their vaccination needs.
“Businesses know vaccinations are a way to keep their workers and customers safe and to keep their doors open,” Jeffrey Zients, the White House coronavirus response coordinator, said at a news conference
This new function will enable users to to search on Yelp’s website and mobile appBusinesses that have fully-vaccinated employees and those who require proof of vaccination for entry.
“We support these vaccination requirements to protect workers, communities and the country,” Zients said.
A Yelp spokeswoman told HuffPost that the company will be “proactively monitoring Yelp pages of businesses that activate these attributes” in order “to help protect businesses that may experience backlash for their vaccination policies.”
“The past year and a half has been like no other,” Yelp Vice President of User Operations Noorie Malik said in a statement. “Both business owners and consumers have expressed interest in Yelp releasing vaccine-related attributes. For many months we’ve seen businesses implement vaccine requirements for both their customers and staff. As a result, we’ve also seen a rise in reviews primarily focused on people’s stance on COVID vaccinations rather than their actual experience with the business.”
At Thursday’s news conference, the White House’s coronavirus response team highlighted increasing vaccination rates, particularly in those regions of the country where COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations are spiking.
Particularly concerning for the American South is the rising number of coronavirus-related cases. Florida and Texas have been responsible for nearly one third of all new coronavirus cases in the United States over the last seven days. They also accounted more than one third of new hospitalizations. Seven states that make up just a quarter of the U.S. population ― Florida, Texas, Missouri, Arkansas, Louisiana, Alabama and Mississippi ― account for more than half of new cases and hospitalizations over the past week.
The U.S. saw about 864,000 coronavirus vaccinations go into arms over “the past 24 hours,” according to Zients, who said that figure was the highest single-day total since July 3. The bulk of them ― or around 585,000 ― were first shots.
Rochelle Walensky, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention director, stated to reporters that, despite increased transmission of the delta variant of serious illness, the vast majority of severe illnesses still occur in people who are not vaccinated.
Businesses, schools, and hospitals across the country are imposing vaccination requirements on their employees, students, and other personnel in response to an increasing number of cases. Zients reported that over 100 hospital systems across the country require their employees to have their vaccines administered. Additionally, nearly 650 colleges or universities also demand the vaccination of students and on-campus staff. Many leaders at the local, state and federal levels ― including President Joe Biden ― have said government workers under their purview will need to be vaccinated or regularly tested, as well.
American law has a long history. protecting the right of localities and employers to mandate vaccinationsThese requirements have been upheld by the courts in accordance with the COVID-19 era.
Most people expect exceptions to this rule for religious and health reasons.