The CDC Guidelines are Changing Again to Protect Americans

The CDC Guidelines are Changing Again to Protect Americans

The delta variant is spreading at a rapid pace and causing COVID-19 cases to soar, leading the mask mandate to make a comeback.

It’s just as we thought things were turning up again after the long haul of the pandemic and lingering mask mandates across the country were finally being lifted. Now, it seems to be starting all over again. The CDC initially gave the thumbs up for vaccinated Americans to take off their masks. However, the highly contagious delta variant is turning the rules around.

Tuesday, the CDC recommended that fully vaccinated Americans in locations with “substantial or high transmission” of COVID-19 should return to wearing masks indoors. Going back to square one, the CDC also says masks should be required for everyone inside K-12 schools while remaining to full-time, in-person classes “with proper prevention strategies” in place. The agency also recommends that vaccinated people wear a mask if someone in their household is unable to be protected by the vaccine, including those with compromised immune systems or children who are too young to get the shot.

The new guidance comes as local and state health officials returned to wearing masks indoors, with cases of the virus rapidly increasing among unvaccinated Americans. According to the CDC, 63 percent of U.S. counties currently have a “high” or “substantial” spread of the virus. The Biden administration’s mask mandate isn’t binding outside of planes, buses and other forms of public transportation. The CDC’s guidance is also not binding on most local officials from levying their own mask mandates. Some states also banned local officials from levying their own mask mandates. However, the agency reversing its policies will most likely influence schools to revise their rules as the country is seeing outbreaks of COVID-19.

"I really do believe that masking right now, especially for those unvaccinated, is a temporary measure. What we really need to do to drive down these transmissions, in the areas of high transmission, is to get more and more people vaccinated, and in the meantime to use masks," Dr. Rochelle Walensky, Appointed CDC Director, said.

The NSC also continues to support the CDC’s guidelines and suggestions about keeping people safe and for employers to prioritize their workers to get vaccinated. This goal may be supported through incentives, mandates and information sharing. According to an article from the NSC, it previously shared guidelines to encourage people in the workplace to get the vaccine by including paid time off for immunization and recovery, on-site vaccination clinics, help with scheduling and transportation and support for promotional efforts. The CDC recommendation will result in masks being required in the White House, beginning Wednesday.

Download Center

  • Safety Metrics Guide

    Is your company leveraging its safety data and analytics to maintain a safe workplace? With so much data available, where do you start? This downloadable guide will give you insight on helpful key performance indicators (KPIs) you should track for your safety program.

  • Job Hazard Analysis Guide

    This guide includes details on how to conduct a thorough Job Hazard Analysis, and it's based directly on an OSHA publication for conducting JHAs. Learn how to identify potential hazards associated with each task of a job and set controls to mitigate hazard risks.

  • A Guide to Practicing “New Safety”

    Learn from safety professionals from around the world as they share their perspectives on various “new views” of safety, including Safety Differently, Safety-II, No Safety, Human and Organizational Performance (HOP), Resilience Engineering, and more in this helpful guide.

  • Lone Worker Safety Guide

    As organizations digitalize and remote operations become more commonplace, the number of lone workers is on the rise. These employees are at increased risk for unaddressed workplace accidents or emergencies. This guide was created to help employers better understand common lone worker risks and solutions for lone worker risk mitigation and incident prevention.

  • EHS Software Buyer's Guide

    Learn the keys to staying organized, staying sharp, and staying one step ahead on all things safety. This buyer’s guide is designed for you to use in your search for the safety management solution that best suits your company’s needs.

  • Vector Solutions

OH&S Digital Edition

  • OHS Magazine Digital Edition - June 2022

    June 2022


      Corporate Safety Culture Is Workplace Culture
      Keeping Workers Safe from Heat-Related Illnesses & Injuries
      Should Employers Consider Oral Fluid Drug Testing?
      Addressing Physical Differences
    View This Issue