OSHA Updates COVID-19 Guidance to Reflect CDC Masking Recommendations
Last week, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) updated its current guidance for how businesses should address COVID-19 in the workplace. The update reflects what the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) suggested in late July for mask usage in areas with substantial and high COVID-19 transmission rates. Both the OSHA and CDC guidance is not mandated, but rather are recommendations. Specifically, OSHA’s guidance update:
- Recommends that fully-vaccinated workers in areas of substantial or high community transmission wear masks in order to protect unvaccinated workers;
- Recommends that fully-vaccinated workers who have close contacts with people with coronavirus wear masks for up to 14 days unless they have a negative coronavirus test at least 3-5 days after such contact;
- Clarifies recommendations to protect unvaccinated workers and other at-risk workers in manufacturing, meat and poultry processing, seafood processing and agricultural processing; and
- Links to the latest guidance on K-12 schools and CDC statements on public transit.
OSHA also noted in its update that it “continues to emphasize that vaccination is the optimal step to protect workers and encourages employers to engage with workers and their representatives to implement multi-layered approaches to protect unvaccinated or otherwise at-risk workers from the coronavirus.”