Follow us on LinkedIn to see future News.
May 4, 2021
Last week, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) issued interim public health recommendations for fully vaccinated people in non-healthcare settings.
When does the CDC consider a person to be fully vaccinated?
For purposes of its guidance, the CDC considers a person to be fully vaccinated for COVID-19 two weeks after receiving the second dose of a two-dose series (e.g., the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine or the Moderna vaccine), or two weeks after receiving a single dose vaccine (e.g., Johnson and Johnson/Janssen vaccine).
What can fully vaccinated people do?
What should fully vaccinated people continue to do?
Should employers relax mask requirements for fully vaccinated employees?
They should not. As stated above, the CDC recommends that, in indoor public spaces, fully vaccinated people should continue to wear a well-fitted mask and follow workplace guidance.
Though the CDC’s guidance states that fully vaccinated people no longer need to wear a mask outdoors, employers with employees working outdoors should continue to require masks in light of OSHA guidance. Specifically, in January 2021, OSHA issued guidance stating that employers should not distinguish between vaccinated and unvaccinated employees, and vaccinated employees must continue to follow protective safety measures, such as wearing face coverings and remaining physically distant. Privacy and other legal concerns also dictate that employers continue to implement the same safety requirements for vaccinated and unvaccinated employees. For example, allowing fully vaccinated employees to go mask-less will identify who has been vaccinated and who has not, and, if the reasons that an employee is unvaccinated is due to disability or religious reasons, an employer runs the risk of disparate treatment claims.
Should employers subject only unvaccinated employees to COVID-19 screenings?
This article relates to CDC guidance. Remember that such guidance is only one of the resources available to employers. Employers also must consider state, local, and OSHA guidelines before modifying policies. Rubin Fortunato is available to answer your questions.