Is it okay to still require masks? - New CDC Guidelines

26 May 2021 | Wednesday | News

Explained By BioPrep Solutions
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The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has said those that are fully vaccinated can go without masks and no longer need to physically distance themselves. But, what does that mean for your business, especially given the January OSHA guidance and potential for new guidance? How does compliance work? When is it safe to lift mask mandates? How can you manage vaccinated and unvaccinated employees and customers?  How can businesses adequately prepare for the uncertainty of the year ahead?

The new CDC announcement--many heard what they wanted to hear--the United States is done with masks and COVID-19. Unfortunately, it isn't there yet. The CDC recommendation is very specific and only applies to vaccinated individuals, with caveats for immunocompromised persons, children, symptomatic, and certain workplaces. The bottom line--it is still important for businesses to ensure that de-masking can be managed safely. Summer may seem reassuring, as cases and deaths stabilize with more people gathering outdoors. But, there are real concerns about another wave of the virus this fall and winter, given the high rates of vaccine hesitancy; rapidly evolving new variants; and immunity waning over time, requiring boosters

The CDC guidance makes sense from a scientific perspective in terms of the efficacy of the vaccines in protecting those who receive them. However, many businesses have struggled with anti-mask and anti-vaccine dynamics. State and local mandates have given businesses much-needed support. With the guidance change, there is no easy way to know who has been vaccinated and requiring mask-wearing is difficult to enforce when it is a business's choice, rather than a law.  

CDC guidance also removed social distancing requirements for vaccinated at the same time many states started increasing their occupancy limits. How can you fairly and safely serve your employees and customers, both vaccinated and not? Do you take people at their word? Do you intermingle vaccinated and unvaccinated clients?

BioPrep Solutions' experts in public health have created a brief Business's Guide to Navigating New COVID-19 Rules to help you navigate these questions. Our team has decades of experience and has helped translate CDC guidance into usable business information; and can help you develop a useful plan. We break it down into 8 easy steps for you to measure employee, customer, and business risk along with how and when you think about lifting your mask mandate. 


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