September 18, 2021

Volume XI, Number 261

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Will Delta Keep You Off the Plane? Keeping Tabs on the Latest CDC Guidelines

We are so ready to put COVID-19 behind us, but unfortunately, the delta variant is keeping us on our toes.  So, for the time being, where do we stand, and what do we do now?

Amended CDC Guidance for the Fully Vaccinated

Last week, the CDC updated its guidelines to recommend (along with its prior guidelines that unvaccinated individuals should continue masking) that fully vaccinated individuals:

  • Should wear a mask in public indoor settings in areas of substantial or high transmission

  • Might opt to mask in public indoor settings regardless of the transmission level if they or someone else in their household are immunocompromised or at increased risk for severe disease

  • Who have a known exposure to someone with COVID-19 should be tested three to five days after the exposure, and wear a mask in public indoor settings for 14 days or until receiving a negative test result

School Settings and Travel

The CDC is recommending universal indoor masking for all teachers, staff, students and visitors in a school setting, regardless of vaccination status. As for travel, the CDC maintains that domestic travel is low risk for fully vaccinated individuals, although masking on public transportation in the United States remains required.

What Employers Are Doing

In response to the spiking case numbers and the fluctuating guidelines, many employers are revisiting their COVID-19 protocols. Facebook, Google, Ford, Walmart, and Walt Disney Company have recently mandated vaccines for certain employees. Additionally, the White House announced Thursday that it would require vaccines for federal employees. Other employers whose staff has not yet returned to the office are revisiting their plans to do so.

Takeaways

In the coming weeks, keep an eye on the fluctuating recommendations and especially the mandates in any locations where you have employees. If you are (re)considering a vaccination mandate, remember that you have to make exceptions for anyone who cannot receive it due to a medical issue or sincerely held religious belief; we blogged on this issue earlier here. Additionally, while you may ask about vaccination status, you want to be careful in how you ask and what you do with that information. If you’re uncertain about your COVID-19 protocol as it pertains to employment liability, give your lawyer a call.

© 2021 Bradley Arant Boult Cummings LLPNational Law Review, Volume XI, Number 216
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About this Author

Anne Knox Averitt Labor Attorney Bradley Law Firm
Partner

Anne Knox Averitt has extensive experience in labor and employment matters and commercial litigation. She works in the Birmingham office and represents clients of all sizes, from Fortune 500 companies to family-owned businesses in a number of industries, including retail, automotive, natural resources, manufacturing, healthcare, non-profit, communications, construction, and financial services. She also handles cases before arbitrators, administrative law judges, and federal and state court judges.

Anne Knox represents school boards in all aspects of their operations, including...

205-521-8621
Anne R. Yuengert Employment Attorney Bradley Birmingham
Partner

Anne Yuengert works with clients to manage their employees, including conducting workplace investigations of harassment or theft, training employees and supervisors, consulting on reductions in force and severance agreements, drafting employment agreements (including enforceable noncompetes) and handbooks, assessing reasonable accommodations for disabilities, and working through issues surrounding FMLA and USERRA leave. When preventive measures are not enough, she handles EEOC charges, OFCCP and DOL complaints and investigations, and has handled cases before arbitrators...

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