In the face of the spread of the Delta Variant of the Covid 19 virus and surge in new cases, OSHA has updated its guidance for employers.
The Aug, 18 update changes the agency’s guidance to reflect the July 27 Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) mask and testing recommendations for fully vaccinated people
“This guidance is also intended to help employers and workers who are located in areas of substantial or high community transmission, who should take appropriate steps to prevent exposure and infection regardless of vaccination status,” OSHA said.
OSHA’s latest guidance:
• Recommends that fully vaccinated workers in areas of substantial or high community transmission wear masks in order to protect unvaccinated workers.
• Recommends that fully vaccinated workers who have close contacts with people with coronavirus wear masks for up to 14 days unless they have a negative coronavirus test at least 3-5 days after such contact.
• Clarifies recommendations to protect unvaccinated workers and other at-risk workers in manufacturing, meat and poultry processing, seafood processing and agricultural processing.
The OSHA recommendations are similar to the CDC’s in regard to mask recommendations and urging more people to get vaccinated.
OSHA notes that some conditions, such as a prior transplant, as well as prolonged use of corticosteroids or other immune-weakening medications, may affect workers’ ability to have a full immune response to vaccination.
It says, “Employers should consider taking steps to protect these at-risk workers as they would unvaccinated workers, regardless of their vaccination status.