NSC Statement on Updated CDC Mask Guidance for Fully Vaccinated Individuals

Employers should take a risk-based approach based on their specific work environment.

May 14, 2021

Itasca, IL – The National Safety Council cautiously supports the recent CDC recommendation for fully vaccinated individuals to relax safety protocols, like mask wearing and social distancing.

While this news further elevates the important role vaccines play in stopping the spread of COVID-19 and assisting workplaces to return to full and open operation, it does not take away any of the complexity out of managing the safety of a partially vaccinated workforce. Employers should still take a risk-based approach based on their specific work environment to ensure the safety of all workers. In addition, employers must be prepared to verify the vaccination status of employees, while complying with appropriate employee laws and protocols. Further, employers should continue to create a safe, inclusive workplace culture where all workers, no matter their vaccination status, feel safe and supported. 

The fact is, vaccines are the clearest route to a safe, productive return to the workplace. NSC, as part of its SAFER effort, recently called on employers to do more to encourage vaccinations with their employees. According to the KFF COVID-19 Vaccine Monitor, the top reasons among  individuals who are eager to receive the vaccine but have not yet tried to get an appointment include not having time (14%), not being able to take time off work (12%), or simply not getting around to it (9%). Employers can remove these barriers by offering paid time off for immunization and recovery, hosting on-site vaccination clinics, helping with scheduling and transportation, and supporting peer-to-peer vaccination promotion efforts.

NSC stands ready to help employers navigate this evolving situation so they can safely and effectively expand operations based on their specific work environments. 

About the National Safety Council
The National Safety Council is America’s leading nonprofit safety advocate – and has been for over 100 years. As a mission-based organization, we work to eliminate the leading causes of preventable death and injury, focusing our efforts on the workplace, roadway and impairment. We create a culture of safety to not only keep people safer at work, but also beyond the workplace so they can live their fullest lives.

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