CDC offers guidance on vaccinations for hotel, timeshare workers

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According to Visit Orlando, even with the pandemic taking out tens of thousands of tourism jobs, as of December, more than 35,000 people had jobs with hotels or timeshares across Orange, Osceola, Seminole and Lake counties.Many of those jobs put them face-to-face with guests or inside their rooms.Until now, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention had not identified any category for those workers with regard to their priority for the COVID-19 vaccine. “All along we’ve been labeled essential businesses so it would only make sense that our employees are essential employees,” Chip Rogers said.Rogers is the CEO of the American Hotel and Lodging Association.The organization sent a letter to the National Governor’s Association last week asking to be in Priority Group 1B.The latest guidance puts them in Group 1C, one group later with a wide variety of other businesses. Florida has not yet reached most groups in 1B. “It’s not exactly where we wanted to be, but it’s better than where we were,” Rogers said. “We hope this means that employees can get vaccinated even quicker, people can return to hotels quicker and we can get this economy going again.”While the CDC can make recommendations about who should get the vaccine and when the decisions for Florida are ultimately made at the state level.WESH 2 News asked Gov. Ron DeSantis’ Office when they believe hotel workers should get their first dose. His spokesperson said they are still prioritizing seniors and the medically vulnerable and expanding to other groups depends on federal supply.

According to Visit Orlando, even with the pandemic taking out tens of thousands of tourism jobs, as of December, more than 35,000 people had jobs with hotels or timeshares across Orange, Osceola, Seminole and Lake counties.

Many of those jobs put them face-to-face with guests or inside their rooms.

Until now, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention had not identified any category for those workers with regard to their priority for the COVID-19 vaccine.

“All along we’ve been labeled essential businesses so it would only make sense that our employees are essential employees,” Chip Rogers said.

Rogers is the CEO of the American Hotel and Lodging Association.

The organization sent a letter to the National Governor’s Association last week asking to be in Priority Group 1B.

The latest guidance puts them in Group 1C, one group later with a wide variety of other businesses. Florida has not yet reached most groups in 1B.

“It’s not exactly where we wanted to be, but it’s better than where we were,” Rogers said. “We hope this means that employees can get vaccinated even quicker, people can return to hotels quicker and we can get this economy going again.”

While the CDC can make recommendations about who should get the vaccine and when the decisions for Florida are ultimately made at the state level.

WESH 2 News asked Gov. Ron DeSantis’ Office when they believe hotel workers should get their first dose.

His spokesperson said they are still prioritizing seniors and the medically vulnerable and expanding to other groups depends on federal supply.



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