The US Supreme Court has blocked the Biden Administration from mandating COVID-19 vaccination at businesses with 100 or more employees, while allowing a similar rule for health care facilities to stand. In a 6-3 ruling just released, the court has blocked the federal government from enforcing the vaccine-or-test mandate. To view the court’s opinion, click here.
The Missouri Grocers Association had strongly pushed back against the Biden administration’s plan, working closely with Missouri's Attorney General and our partners at NGA and FMI. Employers should continue to have the right to establish vaccine policies for their own businesses.
Here is a memo from OFW Law with more information on the decision and what it means for you. The MGA will provide additional information as it becomes available.
If you have any questions please do not hesitate to call the MGA at
Starting Saturday, private health insurers will be required to cover up to eight home COVID-19 tests per month for people on their plans. The Biden administration announced the change Monday as it looks to lower costs and make testing for the virus more convenient amid rising frustrations.
Under the new policy, first detailed to the AP, Americans will be able to either purchase home testing kits for free under their insurance or submit receipts for the tests for reimbursement, up to the monthly per-person limit. A family of four, for instance, could be reimbursed for up to 32 tests per month. PCR tests and rapid tests ordered or administered by a health provider will continue to be fully covered by insurance with no limit.
President Joe Biden faced criticism over the holiday season for a shortage of at-home rapid tests as Americans traveled to see family amid the surge in cases from the more transmissible omicron variant. Now the administration is working to make COVID-19 home tests more accessible, both by increasing supply and bringing down costs. Learn more here.
Kroger is eliminating its two-week emergency leave for unvaccinated workers who contract COVID-19 and adding a $50 surcharge every month for salaried, unvaccinated employees covered under its insurance plan. Vaccinated workers who suffer a breakthrough infection will still get the paid emergency leave, and the health plan surcharge does not apply to hourly or union employees.
Full Story: The Wall Street Journal
Although meat prices are higher and discount deals have dwindled, overall meat sales still reflect the robust performance of the pandemic era, according to recent data from IRI shows. IRI's Ann-Marie Roerink discusses future trends and opportunities for grocers to leverage the continuing strength of the category.
Full Story: Winsight Grocery Business
Consumers acknowledge family meals as a primary resource to help them stay strong during the COVID-19 pandemic, and identify their time together at the dinner table as their top strategy to cope with what the future brings.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q9NO2zQ5vLgSeptember, as National Family Meals Month,™ provides an excellent opportunity to celebrate the vitality of family life and highlight the many ways the food industry supports families in staying connected and healthy with fast and friendly family meal solutions.
Find turnkey resources and ideas in FMI Foundation's toolkit, so you can support your shoppers in their effort to Stay Strong with Family Meals!
Access Family Meals Toolkit
USDA announced its plans to permanently increase monthly SNAP benefits by 27% beginning Oct. 1, 2021. The increase follows language in the 2018 Farm Bill requiring USDA to evaluate and update the Thrifty Food Plan (TFP) by 2022. TFP is the basis for calculating monthly SNAP allotments and has not been updated with a major change since 1975. The current 15% increase in SNAP benefits that Congress authorized last year as part of a pandemic relief plan will expire on Sept. 30, 2021, the day prior to the onset of the 27% increase.
Yesterday 7/21, during a press conference at the State Capitol, Governor Mike Parson announced the launch of a statewide COVID-19 vaccination incentive program, MO VIP, to encourage vaccination among all Missourians age 12 and up. Over the next three months, 900 Missourians who have or will choose to be vaccinated will win cash or education savings account prizes in the amount of $10,000.
On July 7, 2021, Missouri Governor Mike Parson signed into law a COVID-19 liability bill (Senate Bill 51). The law, which becomes effective on August 28, 2021, is intended to provide protections to Missouri businesses, the health care industry, religious organizations and others for liability under three types of COVID-19 related causes of action: COVID-19 exposure actions, COVID-19 medical liability actions, and COVID-19 products liability actions.
The law preempts and supersedes any state, local, or common law causes of actions for damages arising from these COVID-19 related actions and permits plaintiffs to recover punitive damages not exceeding nine times the amount of compensatory damages awarded. While providing injured persons with an avenue for recovery, the law generally protects and limits liability to businesses and health care providers by requiring plaintiffs to prove a heightened standard of conduct – recklessness or willful misconduct – to maintain the action and limiting liability even further for religious organizations. Read this alert for what you need to know about each COVID-19 related cause of action. READ MORE HERE!
The Missouri Chamber of Commerce updated their Return to Work guide to include the latest CDC guidance on workplace COVID-19 policy regarding fully vaccinated employees.
In addition to the obvious health and safety benefits of the vaccine, there are several subsequent reasons for Missourians to roll up their sleeves.
The CDC advises that fully vaccinated people can:
· Resume activities without wearing masks or physically distancing, except where required by federal, state or local laws or business/organization policy.
· Resume domestic travel and refrain from testing before or after travel or self-quarantine after travel.
· Refrain from testing before leaving the United States for international travel (unless required by the destination) and refrain from self-quarantine after arriving back in the United States.
· Refrain from testing following a known exposure, if asymptomatic, with some exceptions for specific settings.
· Refrain from quarantine following a known exposure if asymptomatic.
· Refrain from routine screening testing if feasible.
The Missouri Grocers Association | 315 N Ken Ave, Springfield, MO 65802 | Phone: 417-831-6667 | Fax: 417-831-3907