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OSHA Updates: COVID-19 Guidance Based on CDC Mask Recommendations

On Friday, August 13, 2021, OSHA updated its Guidance on Mitigating and Preventing the Spread of COVID-19 in the Workplace. In this August 13 update, OSHA adopted the July 27, 2021 CDC public health recommendations for fully vaccinated people, recognizing the impact of the Delta variant and providing that fully vaccinated people should wear a mask in public indoor settings if they are in an area of "substantial or high transmission" (as defined by the CDC). OSHA also recommends that fully vaccinated employees who have come into close contact with someone with suspected or confirmed COVID-19 be tested 3-5 days after exposure, and to wear a mask in public indoor settings for 14 days or until they receive a negative test result. OSHA reiterates that employers should facilitate their employees getting vaccinated, by granting paid time off for employees to get the vaccine and recover from any side effects. The update also reorganized Appendix recommendations for Manufacturing, Meat and Poultry Processing, Seafood Processing, and Agricultural Processing Industries.

OSHA first issued this Guidance on January 29, 2021, with an update on June 10, 2021. The guidance does not apply to health care employers covered by OSHA's COVID-19 Emergency Temporary Standard. For further information on this guidance or OSHA's COVID-19 Emergency Temporary Standard, please reach out to Ashley Meredith Strittmatter.

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