CDC announces that those of us who have completed our COVID-19 vaccination and the two weeks after the final vaccine do not need to wear a mask inside or outside. So how does CDC's no mask requirement for those individuals who have had the COVID-19 vaccination affect dental employers?
- If you are fully vaccinated, you can resume activities that you did prior to the pandemic.
Fully vaccinated people can resume activities without wearing a mask or physically distancing, except where required by federal, state, local, tribal, or territorial laws, rules, and regulations, including local business and workplace guidance.
If you haven’t been vaccinated yet, find a vaccine.
It was clear in President Biden’s announcement that this doesn’t include healthcare and when traveling on buses, planes, trains, etc. Here’s CDC’s quote: “These recommendations can help you make decisions about daily activities after you are fully vaccinated. They are not intended for healthcare settings.”
If an employer is located in a state that requires wearing of masks, then that guidance should be continued until the state determines that an update to their mask protocols are to be updated. As far as in healthcare, employers are required by OSHA to assess the hazards and determine the best controls starting with engineering controls (such as the plexiglass barriers), administrative controls (such as physical distancing), and finally the use of personal protective equipment.
Now we wait for the legal opinions regarding employers discontinuing the use of masks. In other words, if all of your workers have not been vaccinated can you have one rule for those who have been vaccinated and another for those who have not been vaccinated? That could be difficult to manage for an employer. In dentistry, masks were worn prior to the pandemic because of other transmissible diseases which included bloodborne pathogens such as HIV and Hepatitis. That has not changed regardless of the CDC’s announcement. Get more information here from the firm of Fisher & Phillips that provides their advice on this subject.
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