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Friday, September 30, 2022

Safer Federal Workforce Task Force Issues Updated COVID-19 Guidance

When the COVID-19 Community Level is HIGH in a county where a Federal facility is located, agencies must require masks.

As of Monday, agencies paused requiring or requesting employees and potential employees, along with contractors and visitors, to provide information about their COVID-19 vaccination status regardless of COVID-19 Community Levels, where COVID-19 safety protocols do not vary based on vaccination status.

According to updated guidance from the Safer Federal Workforce Task Force, consistent with CDC’s new streamlined guidance, for most Federal workplaces, COVID-19 workplace safety protocols will not vary based on vaccination status or otherwise depend on vaccination information. Where this is the case, agencies should pause requiring, requesting, or collecting vaccination status information.

Agencies with employee COVID-19 vaccination requirements unrelated to EO 14043 and pursuant to other authorities can continue to require documentation of proof of vaccination from employees and potential employees subject to those requirements, as can agencies with other setting-specific dependencies on collecting vaccination information from employees in those settings. Agencies in these positions should consult with the Task Force, the agency’s General Counsel, and the agency’s Senior Agency Official for Privacy.

When agencies pause requiring, requesting, and collecting vaccination status information, such agencies must continue to preserve their vaccination information collection systems and the information collected to date from employees in accordance with National Archives and Records Administration records schedules. Furthermore, it is important to preserve this information as COVID-19 workplace safety may change in the future, or collection of this information from Federal employees may otherwise need to resume.

When the COVID-19 Community Level is HIGH in a county where a Federal facility is located, agencies must require individuals, including employees, contractor employees, and visitors who are 2 years or older, to wear a high-quality mask indoors in the facility, regardless of their vaccination status, pursuant to EO 13991 and consistent with CDC guidance. This includes when Federal employees are interacting with members of the public as part of their official responsibilities.

Read the full guidance here

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The Government Technology & Services Coalition's Homeland Security Today (HSToday) is the premier news and information resource for the homeland security community, dedicated to elevating the discussions and insights that can support a safe and secure nation. A non-profit magazine and media platform, HSToday provides readers with the whole story, placing facts and comments in context to inform debate and drive realistic solutions to some of the nation’s most vexing security challenges.

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