Health

7 Key Ways COVID Guidelines Are Changing Under Biden

New president, new rules.

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COVID guidelines aren't changing under President Biden so much they are being built from the ground up. Trump's White House had no vaccine distribution plan, CNN reports — so federal COVID safety planning is starting basically from scratch.

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While the basic COVID guidelines will stay in place — wear a mask, stay six feet away from others, wash your hands, stay home if you're sick — Biden's new rules and regulations will make it easier to beat back this pandemic, faster.

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Mask Mandates

In his first days in office, President Biden signed a dozen executive orders for COVID relief. These included an order requiring masks on public transportation (including planes and intercity buses).

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Biden only has the authority to mandate masks on places under federal jurisdiction, so this doesn't affect whether people need to wear masks at your local supermarket. However, his administration will urge local leaders to implement mask rules to stem the flow of the pandemic.

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Travel Regulations

Now, international travelers will be required to quarantine for 10 days before entering the U.S., on top of producing a COVID-19 test. Trump’s administration had made a new rule requiring international travelers test negative, but it hadn't yet taken effect.

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Vaccine Distribution

Biden will also increase funding to state and local governments for vaccination, with the aim of distributing 100 million shots in 100 days, fully vaccinating up to 50 million people. This will include opening more vaccination sites and enhancing public education efforts.

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County-Level COVID Stats

The Biden administration is tasking the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to publish a dashboard of COVID cases at the county level. This data will increase the amount of information available to the public about outbreaks on a local level.

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Increase Rapid Testing Options

Looking toward re-opening schools and businesses, the new administration is aiming to improve and increase rapid testing options geared toward quickly reducing transmission in communities.

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Economic & Food Insecurity

An executive order to be signed on Friday, Jan. 22 will expand access to nutritional programs for low-income families. It will also aim to extend unemployment benefits to people who have declined going back to work due to health concerns.

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$1.9 Trillion COVID-19 Plan

Biden's proposed $1.9 trillion COVID and economic relief plan aims to expand stimulus checks to include undocumented folks, increase and extend unemployment benefits, and increase rental assistance. The bill will have to pass through Congress.

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