Keeping up With the CDC: Update to Mask Guidance for the Fully Vaccinated

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In light of increasing concerns about the COVID-19 Delta variant in the United States, the CDC has revised its recommendations regarding masks for fully vaccinated individuals. Although the CDC has reiterated that infections happen in only a small proportion of people who are fully vaccinated, people who are fully vaccinated may spread the virus to others. To stop the spread of COVID-19 and particularly the Delta variant, the CDC is recommending that those who are in an area of substantial or high transmission should wear a mask in public indoor settings, even if they are fully vaccinated.

OSHA's COVID-19 guidance for non-health care employers incorporates the CDC's recommendations, so the best practice for employers is to ensure that their internal policies align with the CDC recommendations. The first step for employers is to visit the CDC interactive website and assess the transmission rate in their county. For those located in counties with substantial (orange) or high (red) rates of transmission, employers should consider revising their mask policies, requiring all employees to wear a mask when indoors and not working alone in an enclosed office space (subject to appropriate requests for accommodations). Health care employers remain governed by the Emergency Temporary Standard on COVID-19 previously addressed here.

If you have questions about how this recent guidance impacts your workplace or if you need assistance updating your mask policies, please contact Shannon Toole or your Reinhart attorney.

Please visit Reinhart’s Coronavirus Resources Center for additional up-to-date information.

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