Mask Up – Again – New CDC Guidance for Vaccinated Individuals

July 26, 2021
What Are the Possibilities?
August 6, 2021

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), on July 27, 2021,  updated its guidance for vaccinated individuals  in response to the rise of the COVID-19 Delta variant.  This is an update to its May 2021 guidance.  The updated guidance includes the recommendation that vaccinated individuals wear a mask indoors in public areas which are in an area “of substantial or high transmission.”  The CDC has provided a tracker to help individuals identify what areas may be of substantial or high transmission.

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) issued updated  COVID-19 related workplace guidance in June 2021.  It is predicted that an update to that guidance can be expected from OSHA.  Because OSHA’s guidance usually follows that of the CDC, employers must inform themselves and adjust their work policies in accordance with this new CDC guidance.  The general duty clause gives OSHA the authority to cite employers for what it deems to be an unsafe workplace, even where a standard does not exist.  It is best practice to check CDC’s tracker and determine whether your business is in the “substantial or high transmission” zone and adjust your workplace policies accordingly.  If you have multiple locations, check the tracker for each business location.

Being vigilant in response to the updated CDC guidance is especially necessary because workers in businesses operating in the cemetery and/or funeral industries both work closely together and work with the public.  Taking a conservative approach to establishing new policy within your workplace, you may find, is effective in remaining compliant with OSHA requirements.

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