Update to CDC COVID-19 Guidelines

By PuzzleHR

As the CDC has relaxed their guidance on mask wearing, it is important to be aware of how the requirements are changing in your area.  The restrictions on wearing a mask vary from state to state and even from county or city within a state.  In most cases, businesses can set their own policy as to whether or not they want to require masks.  

The CDC recently released new guidelines for individuals who have been fully vaccinated against COVID-19. People are considered fully vaccinated:

  • Two weeks after receiving their second dose in a two-dose series.
  • Two weeks after receiving a single-dose vaccine.

If you are fully vaccinated, you:

  • May resume activities you participated in prior to the pandemic without wearing a mask or social distancing, except where required by any rules or regulations, including local business or workplace guidance.
  • May travel within the United States without getting tested or self-quarantining before or after travel.
  • Must pay close attention to circumstances when traveling internationally.
  • You do not need to get tested before leaving the United States unless required by the destination country.
  • You must show a negative test result or documentation of recovery from COVID before boarding an international flight to the United States.
  • You should still get tested 3-5 days after international travel but do not need to self-quarantines after arriving in the United States.
  • Do not need to stay away from others or get tested after being around someone with COVID unless you show symptoms.
  • If you live or work in a correctional facility, detention facility, or homeless shelter, you should get tested regardless of whether you show symptoms.

OSHA’s guidance regarding an employer’s duty to provide a safe and healthy workplace during the COVID-19 pandemic has not been updated. OSHA states that employers should implement a COVID prevention program, the key elements of which include:

  • Conducting a hazard assessment.
  • Identifying measures to limit the spread of COVID in the workplace, such as face masks and social distancing.
  • Adopting measures to ensure that workers who are infected or potentially infected are sent home from the workplace.
  • Implementing anti-retaliation protections for workers who raise concerns related to COVID.

OSHA recommends wearing face coverings and social distancing in the workplace and awareness of state and local legislation regarding face coverings inside.

The CDC still recommends that unvaccinated individuals wear a mask, social distance, avoid crowds and poorly ventilated indoor spaces, and wash their hands often to slow the spread of COVID-19.