TUCSON (KVOA) - Southern Arizona's largest employer will soon require all of its employees to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19.
In a statement obtained by News 4 Tucson on Friday, Raytheon Technologies said it will require all of its employees to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 by Jan. 1 after President Joe Biden announced Aug. 9 a federal COVID-19 vaccine requirement for businesses with 100 employees or more.
In Biden's announcement, the president outlined a six-pronged federal plan geared to boost COVID-19 after the United States surpassed 40 million positive cases earlier that week. In that plan, the president announced several new nationwide COVID-19 policies, including a mandate that says all employers with more than 100 workers must require their employees to get vaccinated or receive weekly COVID-19 tests.
With Raytheon employing about 125,000 workers throughout the United States - 14,700 in Arizona alone, the Grand Canyon State kept a close eye on how the company would handle the federal mandate.
In the statement, the company shared that it decided to require the vaccine for its employees in order to reduce the spread of the virus at its facilities and communities they reside in.
"In keeping with our ongoing commitment to maintain employee health and safety, Raytheon Technologies will require its U.S. employees to be fully vaccinated by Jan. 1 to further protect employees and communities from the risks and uncertainty of COVID-19 and its variants," the company's statement read.
Raytheon's Missiles and Defense headquarters is located in Tucson.
This decision was made a few days after Arizona became the first state to file a lawsuit against the Biden administration over the federal COVID-19 vaccine policy. The City of Tucson also paused its own vaccine mandate on Sept. 14 after Attorney General Mark Brnovich told city leaders that the policy must be rescinded because it is against Arizona state law.
On Friday, Arizona reported 2,830 new COVID-19 cases, bringing its overall total to 1,061,604. The state's COVID-19 death toll also rose to 19,379 after it reported 19 new related deaths that morning.
To learn more about the vaccination sites, visit azdhs.gov.