COVID-19 cases on the rise again, driven by the infectious Delta variant. Based on these rising numbers, the CDC released new guidelines for fully vaccinated people on July 27. According to the CDC, about half of the US population is fully vaccinated, so make sure you are aware of the updated guidelines as an employer. The Mayo Clinic has an online vaccine tracker to follow the U.S. vaccine rollout and compare progress across states.
The CDC now recommends fully vaccinated people wear a mask indoors in public areas if they are in an area of substantial or high transmission. Here is a map to locate your area and transmission status. The guidance does not define “public areas”, but it has been interpreted as including businesses and workplaces.
The CDC also recommends that fully vaccinated people should wear a mask if they are at an increased risk, such as being immune-compromised or if they have a family member who is.
If a fully vaccinated person has close contact with someone who has COVID-19, they should get tested 3-5 days after the exposure, even if they don’t have symptoms. They should also wear a mask indoors in public for 14 days following exposure or until the test result is negative. If a vaccinated person tests positive for COVID-19, they should isolate for 10 days, consistent with the existing guidance for when a sick person can be around others. For teachers and students in school, the CDC recommends masks regardless of vaccination status.
In May, Governor DeSantis signed an Executive Order (21-102) that says that “no county or municipality may renew or enact an emergency order or ordinance, using a local state of emergency … that imposes restrictions or mandates upon businesses or individuals due to the COVID-19 emergency.” It superseded any local orders requiring masks or limiting hours or capacity at bars and restaurants. In a related Executive Order, he invalidated any orders issued by a political subdivision due to the COVID-19 emergency which restricts the rights or liberties of individuals or their businesses. Your business can still implement its own mask mandates, physical distancing or other business restrictions.
Make sure you stay up to date with the CDC guidelines and update your business COVID-19 policy. View the full guideline here.