US COVID-19: Employees Are Getting Vaccinated… Is It Time To Update COVID-19 Workplace Prevention Protocols?
March 12, 2021
Authored by: Charles Jellinek
As more employees across the country have received the COVID-19 vaccination, employers are naturally asking questions. Should we continue to maintain preventive measures (masking, distancing, gathering restrictions)? Can we relax the COVID-protocols, at least with respect to vaccinated employees? Recent guidance from government authorities would suggest that employers continue most preventive measures.
On January 29, 2021, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) issued guidance to employers. In Protecting Workers: Guidance on Mitigating and Preventing the Spread of COVID-19 in the Workplace, [https://www.osha.gov/coronavirus/safework] OSHA specifically noted that, for now, employers should not distinguish between workers who are vaccinated and those who are not. OSHA stated:
Workers who are vaccinated must continue to follow protective measures, such as wearing a face covering and remaining physically distant, because at this time, there is not evidence that COVID-19 vaccines prevent transmission of the virus from person-to-person. The CDC explains that experts need to understand more about the protection that COVID-19 vaccines provide before deciding to change recommendations on steps everyone should take to slow the spread of the virus that causes COVID-19.
On March 8, 2021, the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) issued guidance for the non-healthcare setting regarding individuals who have