Screening News Update: January 22nd, 2021

Screening News Update: January 22nd, 2021

By Jennifer Gladstone

Get paid to get your vaccine, the Happiest Place on Earth does its part to crush COVID-19, and marijuana is flying off the shelves. Get all the details in today’s EBI Screening News Update.

Dollar General Pays Workers to Get Vaccine

For some employees, getting the COVID-19 vaccine really pays. Dollar General Corporation is offering to give their employees four extra hours of pay to go get vaccinated. 

While Dollar General was the first to dangle such an incentive, they are not the only ones.

Instacart and Trader Joe’s are also offering their frontline workers cash. Instacart is giving their independent contractors $25 so they feel comfortable taking time off the clock to get their shots. Trader Joe’s will pay workers an extra two hours each time they get a dose. 

Even though the incentives are in place, it may be a while until retail employees can actually get the shots. Most states are still in the first stages of vaccinating healthcare workers and the elderly. Even the most efficient states have vaccinated only a tiny percentage of their population.

While there are incentives being offered, it’s rare at this point, for an employer to make COVID-19 vaccines mandatory. But employers are asking questions about a mandate. Check out my interview with two employment attorneys to get your questions answered. 

No Rides… Just Shots

The Happiest Place on Earth is now a mass-vaccination site for COVID-19. Disneyland has been closed since the pandemic hit in March and tens of thousands of its employees were furloughed. Last week, the Orange County, California park became the region’s first “Super Point-of-Dispensing” site. The vaccination center was set up in the Toy Story parking lot. The goal is to eventually be able to vaccinate up to 7,000 people a day.

Mickey Mouse is not the only one to open up to help out. NFL stadiums and MLB ballparks across the country are now helping distribute the vaccines, too. Enlisting these huge facilities is supposed to help states speed up their distribution of the vaccine.

From the San Diego Padres to the New York Mets and the Marlins in Miami, teams are offering up massive spaces. The Arizona Cardinals are going a step further. Their stadium is offering vaccinations literally around the clock.

Pandemic Causes Marijuana Boom

Whether medical or recreational, people are buying marijuana in record amounts. State tax and revenue data show that the sale of legalized marijuana is up 67% over last year. 

Obviously, part of the increase is simply the fact that the drug is now legal in so many states, but the effects of coronavirus seem to be pushing the numbers even higher. 

Many in the industry worried their business would wither with shutdowns and quarantine. Their fortunes changed when several governors declared cannabis an “essential product,” which allowed them to stay open when other businesses had to shut down. Suddenly, dispensaries took off, offering online ordering and curbside service just like traditional retailers. 

In states where only medical use of the drug is legal, dispensaries hear complaints from customers about how long it’s taking to get approved for a medical marijuana card. For example, the Maryland Medical Cannabis Commission is reporting backlogs and delays as they struggle to process massive numbers of new applications. 

There are also reports that the industry is experiencing supply chain issues as it tries to keep up with demand.

Screening News Network

About the Author

Jennifer Gladstone

Jennifer Gladstone

Jennifer Gladstone is a news anchor and journalist with more than 20 years of experience in front of the camera. She's worked in several markets, large and small, and has performed nearly every task needed in a newsroom. As EBI’s Screening News Editor, she keeps EBI’s customers and blog subscribers up to date on the latest screening news and legislative alerts affecting companies of all sizes.

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