Latest OSHA Coronavirus Guidance Recommends Masks

August 13, 2021

The U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has issued updated guidance that recommends even fully vaccinated workers wear masks to help stop the spread of COVID-19 in workplaces. The updated guidance offers appropriate measures for protecting workers in higher-risk workplaces with mixed-vaccination status workers, particularly for industries where there is often prolonged close contact with other workers and/or the public.

OSHA’s latest guidance:

  • Recommends that fully vaccinated workers in areas of substantial or high COVID-19 transmission wear masks
  • Recommends that fully vaccinated workers who have close contacts with people who have tested positive for COVID-19 wear masks for up to 14 days unless they have a negative coronavirus test at least 3-5 days after such a contact
  • Links to the latest guidance from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) on K-12 schools and CDC statements on public transit.

OSHA continues to emphasize that vaccination is the best step to protect workers. In the meantime, it encourages employers to engage with workers and their representatives to implement multi-layered approaches to protect unvaccinated or otherwise at-risk workers from COVID-19.