Screening News Update: Vaccines for Cannabis, OSHA Guidance, and COVID in our Furry Friends

Screening News Update: Vaccines for Cannabis, OSHA Guidance, and COVID in our Furry Friends

By Jennifer Gladstone

California teachers take a back seat to marijuana workers, new OSHA guidance for employers, and how COVID-19 is affecting our furry friends. It’s all in today’s EBI Screening News Update.

Putting Cannabis Before Classrooms

California has decided to put a good high ahead of high grades. 

As parents across the country continue to grapple with the shortcomings of virtual school, California lawmakers have bowed to pressure from the cannabis lobby, and now those who grow and sell marijuana in the state will move ahead of teachers in the line for COVID-19 vaccines. 

Not only are they cutting in front of teachers, but also grocery workers, and even law enforcement. 

Originally, the lobbyists wanted cannabis workers to be included in Phase 1B which would lump them in with food and agricultural workers, law enforcement, teachers, and other essential workers. But for some reason, state officials moved them to Phase 1A with healthcare workers. 

Even though marijuana is now legal for recreational use, those in the industry say they were considered “medical” for many years and say the state can’t just rip the label off of them now.

Not everyone is on-board with this plan. Officials in Orange County and San Diego are not following the state guidelines and say they will turn marijuana workers away if they show up to get a shot because they are not yet eligible. 

New OSHA COVID-19 Guidance

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has updated guidance for employers when it comes to protecting their teams from COVID-19. “Protecting Workers: Guidance on Mitigating and Preventing the Spread of COVID-19 in the Workplace” is directed specifically at employers that are not in healthcare. 

According to the guidance, all employers should implement a COVID-19 prevention plan, and these plans work best when both employees and any union representative are engaged in the process. 

There are a lot of things that go into creating an effective plan, including, but not limited to:

  • Assigning a workplace coordinator to deal with all COVID-19 related issues.
  • Conducting a hazard assessment to identify any obvious hazards workers might encounter during their workday.
  • Adjusting workspaces to help limit the spread by doing things like implementing physical distancing in communal areas, requiring face coverings, improving ventilation, and creating a disinfection protocol.
  • Considering additional protections for those employees who might be at higher risk.
  • Training everyone in the new procedures and communicate all plans or changes clearly.
  • Making sure anyone who might be infected stays home and quarantines.

All of this is just guidance, not a requirement. 

If you need help, EBI’s Workplace Health & Safety solutions can help. 


We spend most of our time talking about how COVID-19 is affecting humans, but there is new research about how it is hitting our furry friends! 

Officials in Seoul, South Korea started offering free tests for pets this week, and on Monday they discovered their first case of coronavirus in a cat. The little guy’s family all came down with the virus, then he started vomiting and became very lethargic. 

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) says it’s been very rare to find infected pets in the US, but those they have seen got it from being in close contact with their sick humans. There is no evidence that animals can play a significant role in spreading the virus to people, but there is research that shows cats can pass it on to other cats. 

Last month two 11-week-old white tiger cubs died from the virus in Pakistan, a dog remains in quarantine in Hong Kong after testing positive, and in San Diego, several western lowland gorillas have recently made a full recovery. 

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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