This week: planet-killing comets, a blood crisis and mask questions answered
The U.S. Supreme Court on Thursday blocked a vaccine-or-test mandate for large businesses, saying it was an over-extension of federal authority. The policy would have required employees to either provide proof of vaccination or take weekly COVID-19 tests. At the same time, the court allowed the Biden administration to require vaccinations for health care workers at facilities that treat Medicare and Medicaid patients. Each decision came with a split vote, mostly along partisan lines.
2. Hidden Epidemic
To counteract all-time highs for sexually transmitted infections, California is taking a tool out of the pandemic playbook. The state's first-of-its-kind legislation requires health insurers to cover at-home tests for STIs. There are still a few kinks to work out, but advocates say the privacy of at-home testing can reduce the stigma that makes the fight against STIs so hard to win.
3. Clear as Mud
With the onset of the omicron variant, public health officials have been advising Americans to up their mask game. Instead of cloth masks, the new recommendation is higher-quality, medical-grade masks. With a plethora of mask types, potential fakes and layering suggestions floating around the internet, people are left wondering what to do. Four docs offer a dose of clarity.
Let’s take a break from hard news. These two personal essays dive into racism and abortion with vulnerability, frankness and great writing:
You made it to the end! Thank you for using your time to be informed, you rock. – MO
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