Face Covering/Mask Update

This morning, we received the following information from Kevin Cannon, AGC of America’s director of Safety and Health Services:

“We are well aware of the updated CDC guidance and the confusion that it will create among contractors and employees. To date, OSHA has not updated their most recent guidance issued on January 29, which states that employers are not to distinguish between vaccinated and unvaccinated individuals as it relates to masks and social distancing policies:

Not distinguishing between workers who are vaccinated and those who are not: Workers who are vaccinated must continue to follow protective measures, such as wearing a face covering and remaining physically distant, because at this time, there is not evidence that COVID-19 vaccines prevent transmission of the virus from person-to-person. The CDC explains that experts need to understand more about the protection that COVID-19 vaccines provide before deciding to change recommendations on steps everyone should take to slow the spread of the virus that causes COVID-19.

While we view this as a positive development, the conflicting information, and OSHA’s reliance on outdated information, is not helpful. AGC of America expressed concerns with both the CDC and OSHA and will continue to monitor any developments regarding this issue and provide updates accordingly. Until such time, AGCA is advising members to continue with their current policies to avoid any potential enforcement actions by OSHA.”

Currently, there are no changes to how jobsites and contractors should treat face coverings and distancing requirements. The new mask guidance is for public spaces, and does not yet extend to workplaces. We recommend that contractors in Oregon and Washington continue to follow current jobsite guidance until there is clear and aligned guidance from federal, state, and local government agencies.

In addition, if your company has adopted a vaccination policy, we encourage you to keep that in place until guidelines are clarified.

In Oregon there is a new Oregon OSHA COVID-19 standard that is in place until the rule is rescinded; the first meeting to discuss changes to the rule is scheduled for the week of July 12. Washington does not have a written OSHA standard, but the federal OSHA language applies in the State of Washington during the state of emergency.

This is a rapidly changing situation that will continue to evolve over the coming days and weeks, and we encourage you to come back to this site for updated info.

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