What does CDC’s Face Mask Compliance Mean for Your Company?

Published: May 19, 2021

Over the last year, our stepping-out-of-the-house checklist has come to accommodate face masks along with the usual ‘phone, wallet and keys’ routine. Some of us have even adapted to a point where not having a mask on in public makes us anxious. So, last Thursday, when the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) announced that fully vaccinated people could go out without masks, confusion was high. However, these new Face Mask Compliance guidelines have thrown state and local officials, even private companies struggling to decide on their own policies.

Also Read: How to Ensure Face Mask Compliance

Vaccination Rate across the USA (as of 16th May 2021)

(Source: Our World In Data)

We are here to break it down for you and to help you make the right decisions for your workplace. Let’s start with some general questions you might have.

Do the new guidelines mean that we don’t need to wear masks anymore?

No. According to the face mask compliance guidance, only fully vaccinated people (who have gotten their final booster shot at least 2 weeks ago) are not required to wear a mask outdoors and in most indoor settings. Of course, this comes with limitations. Even fully vaccinated people need to mask up while they are in hospitals, public transport, or any place where there are large gatherings in closed quarters.

Wait, so do I listen to the local mask mandate or the CDC advice?

The CDC’s guidance does not supplant your local government’s mask mandate. However, some states like Kentucky and Illinois have already started tweaking their rules to be in line with federal guidance. Whereas, other states such as Kansas, Wichita, and New York State have stated that they are reviewing the new guidelines and are still considering their next move.

Who is ensuring compliance with this new guideline?

With this announcement, the CDC has put the responsibility of face mask compliance on the citizens themselves. Whether you’re wearing a mask or not is based on the honor system. That’s right, it’s up to us to make sure that we are responsible and wear our masks, as and when required.

It may cause you a headache when it comes to enforcing mask-related policies at the office. To avoid this confusion and uncertainty, here are a few things you could do to keep your workplace safe:

  • Keep an eye out for more information, especially from local governments and the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA). They will be able to give you more clarity on the path forward. We can expect to see some information flowing in soon.
  • Use the State and Federal guidelines to make your policies. However, your decision-making should be based on the safety of your employees and your work environment. Unfortunately, there isn’t a one-size-fits-all solution. We know cause we’ve looked!
  • Stay connected with the local health department to procure the latest data on vaccination rates in your region. So it’ll be easier for you to determine when to go mask-free in your workplace.
  • Ensure that your employees are given a vaccination card. Refer to it for more information on their vaccination status.
  • Have an ear on the ground. Monitor the news stream and social media channels to know the latest situation and to understand how the other players in your industry are dealing with the situation.

These are just a few things you need to do to make sure you stay on top of this situation. From a management perspective, it would be much easier to enforce face mask compliance by having everyone wear their masks. But, as a business leader, you know that nothing comes easy. For now, stay tuned in to every new piece of information coming in and focus on keeping your employees safe.

We’d love to hear your thoughts and suggestions on how to implement the new mask policy at a workplace, write to us at hello@workinsync.io.

WorkInSync is dedicated to ensuring employee safety. We have incorporated face mask compliance features that will enable easier management of office safety protocols. To learn more, schedule a demo with us.

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