Masking requirements remain in place for both fully vaccinated and unvaccinated employees and visitors to VHA buildings providing health care.
The director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) announced updated Interim Public Health Recommendations for Fully Vaccinated People. Consistent with this guidance, and subject to any applicable labor relations obligations, fully vaccinated federal employees, fully vaccinated onsite contractors and fully vaccinated visitors are no longer required to wear masks indoors or outdoors while on VA grounds, except when working in or visiting VHA buildings providing health care.
All VA personnel should continue to comply with CDC guidance regarding areas where masks should be worn, including within airports and health care settings.
To clarify what this announcement means for VA personnel and visitors:
- If you are fully vaccinated (at least two weeks past your final dose), you are no longer required to wear a mask.
- If you are not fully vaccinated (at least two weeks past your final dose), please continue to wear a mask consistent with the requirements set forth in VA’s Charting the Course safety plan and your administration or staff office workplace safety plan.
- Masking requirements remain in place for both fully vaccinated and unvaccinated employees and visitors to VHA buildings providing health care.
Personnel who are not fully vaccinated should continue to follow applicable VA mask requirements, including continuing to wear masks in federal buildings and on federal lands. Maximum telework and federal building occupancy limits remain in place. Safety guidance related to these other matters will continue to be updated based on the latest public health guidance.
These changes are consistent with Executive Order 13991 on Protecting the Federal Workforce and Requiring Mask-Wearing, which charged federal agencies to “require compliance with CDC guidelines with respect to wearing masks” and with Office of Management and Budget memorandum M-21-15, which noted in its guidance on face masks that “agencies may provide for exceptions consistent with CDC guidelines.”
As the situation and guidance changes in this fluid and improving environment, we will provide updates.