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Four in ten U.S. workers are concerned about going back to in-person work as the Delta variant of Covid-19 spreads, the Conference Board said Wednesday, up from 24% in June and coming at a time when Fed officials are debating if the labor market has made substantial progress needed to taper QE.

"With headlines about the rise of the Delta variant, breakthrough cases among the vaccinated, and an overburdened healthcare system in much of the country, Covid-19 concerns that were subsiding just two months ago have risen," Rebecca Ray, the board's executive vice president of human capital, said in a statement.