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The Delta Variant and Return-to-Work Mask Policies

The Delta Variant and Return-to-Work Mask Policies

2 minute read

Many communities and employers had eased mandates and policies with more people becoming fully vaccinated against COVID-19. But with the emergence of the Delta variant, policies may need updating as the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has announced updates to its mask guidelines.

Although vaccines are largely effective at preventing the spread of COVID, “breakthrough cases” of Delta have been found to be contagious, even for fully vaccinated individuals. While the vaccination is the most effective prevention of the spread, masks can continue to play a key role in preventing the spread, even for fully vaccinated individuals.

The CDC’s updated guidance recommends that fully vaccinated individuals wear masks in public indoor settings in areas of high COVID transmission. It is also recommended that K-12 students wear masks, regardless of their vaccination status. Unvaccinated individuals should continue to wear masks indoors and in some crowded outdoor settings. The CDC guidance reverses their previous guidance allowing fully vaccinated individuals to stop wearing a mask in most settings.

The new guidance has prompted some communities and employers to reinstate or keep their mask policies in place as they begin to reopen. Some employers have eased mask restrictions. Others have created policies that have eliminated mask requirements for fully vaccinated employees and customers but require masks for those unvaccinated.

The CDC guidelines are a recommendation and are not legally binding for employers to follow. But employers may need to follow state and local laws if mask mandates, or similar guidance is issued.

Even if mask wearing isn’t a requirement for your organization, it’s a good idea for employers to review their policy and see if any revisions need to be made to help ease employee concerns and keep the workforce safe.

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This blog is intended to be a compilation of information and resources pulled from federal, state, and local agencies. This is not intended to be legal advice. For up to the minute information and guidance on COVID-19, please follow the guidelines of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and your local health organizations.

National Insurance Services is not a law firm and no opinion, suggestion, or recommendation of the firm or its employees shall constitute legal advice. Readers are advised to consult with their own attorney for a determination of their legal rights, responsibilities and liabilities, including the interpretation of any statute or regulation, or its application to the readers’ business activities.

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Polly Ross

Polly Ross

Pauline (Polly) Ross, a 25+ years insurance industry veteran, is a solution-focused client advocate. Polly goes the extra mile by building strong relationships with her clients, assuring them that she is always in their corner. Customers have come to rely on her skills to get to the root cause of an issue, analyzing the entire situation, and determining a solid plan of action. Polly joined NIS in 1991 as an Underwriter and moved to her current position as Client Relations in 1995 due to her client loyalty, organizational skills, and problem-solving ability. As a licensed insurance agent, Polly works with public sector organizations and with agents requiring special handling due to their large block of life and disability business.