RICHMOND, Va (WRIC) — Several of the largest employers in the region say they are reviewing the requirement after President Biden announced employers mandate COVID-19 vaccines among staff with over 100 workers.
With new cases, severe illness and death overwhelmingly impacting the unvaccinated, Biden said the mandate would impact around 100 million Americans.
“This is not about freedom or personal choice,” Biden said, noting the move was to protect the population.
With more than 27,000 workers nationwide, a spokesperson for CarMax, wich is headquartered in Henrico, said they are reviewing today’s announcement but it is too early to share any information.
Altria responded to the mandate, which falls under an emergency order from the U.S. Department of Labor.
“We are strongly encouraging all our employees to get vaccinated, including providing financial incentives such as contributions to health savings accounts,” a spokesperson told 8News. “We will review the Department of Labor’s temporary standard and determine our next steps.”
A Dominion Energy spokesperson also said they are “reviewing the order and aren’t yet prepared to react.”
Last month, Capital One announced all employees returning for in-person work would face a vaccine requirement–the corporation previously said offices would delay reopening in-person work until November.
A representative from Estes Express Lines said the company is still reviewing the mandate and does not have any comment at this time.
Governor Ralph Northam’s office said he “absolutely supports” the president’s decision, following Northam’s order for all state employees be vaccinated or receive routine testing.
“Vaccines are the only way we will put this pandemic behind us,” a spokesperson for Northam said.
U.S. Senator Mark Warner said he is “glad to know that the President is using every tool at his disposal to boost vaccination rates and save lives.”
U.S. Senator Tim Kaine shared a statement similar to Northam and Warner.
“As someone who has had COVID and seen too many friends die of it, I support the President’s mandate,” Kaine said. “It should not have been necessary, but the continued refusal of people to get a working vaccine is causing unnecessary death at an unacceptable scale.”
Virginia’s major party picks in the governor’s race, however, sparred on the federal mandate.
A campaign Spokesperson for Republican Nominee for Governor Glen Youngkin said, “he made the choice to get vaccinated himself and he encourages people to get the vaccine, but it should be left to the individual to make the decision.”
Terry McAullife’s democratic campaign spokesperson said in-part, “as the state with the second largest federal workforce in the nation, this decision is critical in our fight to end this pandemic and keep our economy growing.”
8News also reached out to representatives with snack corporation Nabisco.