News media company CNN has ended employment with three unvaccinated staff who returned to work against its policy, stressing its “zero tolerance” approach amid COVID-19 spikes in the U.S.

In an internal memo to staff on Thursday, August 5, CNN’s president Jeff Zucker took the case of the three discharged workers to exemplify the company’s firm stance in the revelation of the recently increased COVID-19 patients in the country.

“Everyone from news, sports and studios who comes in now and going forward must be vaccinated. We have been clear about this for months, so there should be no confusion,” the memo reads, per Reuters.

CNN did not provide any information about the layoffs or where the employees were stationed, but it stressed that scanning vaccination proof would become a formal element of the procedure to join the office.

Demand for vaccination profiles was previously entrusted to the honor system.

Further to the company’s awareness of COVID-19 risks in current situations, CNN had also decided to delay the September 7 return date in the United States to mid-October. 

But the company is still open for staff returning to work voluntarily, and Zucker claims that more than a third of the news workforce has returned. CNN has enforced masks in its Los Angeles, Washington, DC, and Atlanta offices.

After the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) updated its data about the Delta variant, which claimed that even vaccinated people can still carry the same amount of viruses in their system, many places, and operations across the U.S. had moved to impose COVID-19 protocols such as mask mandate or vaccination proof for services. 

On Wednesday, New York City announced its “Key to NYC Pass” program, which seeks to bar citizens from certain services unless they prove that they have been fully vaccinated. 

“If you want to participate in society fully, you’ve got to get vaccinated,” declared Mayor Bill de Blasio, per the New York Post.

CDC had been frank with some of its reports that breakthrough cases were more possible with the Delta variant, but it insisted the shots can still protect recipients from severe illnesses and reduce the chance of death.

According to CNN, which reported from the CDC, not only is the Delta strain now responsible for 93.4% of the overall cases recorded over the past two weeks, it could also affect younger patients, the age group previously thought to be more resilient against the virus.

While the Delta variant has been discussed regarding the vaccine’s effectiveness and potential risks, little attention has been paid to cheap therapies that several experts claimed could save COVID-19 infected patients from death.