Special Alert: Constituent Update - May 17, 2021
COVID-19 Guidance for FSIS Personnel in Plants, Laboratories, and In-Commerce
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) announced new guidance indicating that fully vaccinated people can safely participate in most activities, indoor or outdoor, without wearing a mask or social distancing. This decision is based on science and data which tells us that vaccines work, cases have been falling dramatically, and that vaccinated people are far less likely to spread the virus.
Given this new guidance, FSIS has instructed in-plant, laboratory, and in-commerce personnel to follow this guidance:
- If they are fully vaccinated (at least 2 weeks past their final dose), they are no longer required to wear a face mask and/or face shield or practice physical distancing in federal establishments, those facilities requesting voluntary inspection, laboratories, and locations where in-commerce duties are conducted.
- Fully vaccinated FSIS personnel may elect to continue wearing face masks and/or face shields based on their level of comfort.
- If the establishment or other facilities where duties are being conducted require face masks and/or face shields, FSIS employees will continue to follow those requirements.
- If they are not fully vaccinated (at least 2 weeks past their final dose), CDC guidance indicates they should continue to wear a face mask and face shield and maintain physical distancing consistent with the requirements set forth in our workplace safety plan.
- FSIS inspection personnel will continue to follow requirements establishments have for their personnel to control exposure, including wearing face masks and/or face shields, physical distancing, and monitoring procedures.