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.

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6 Comments

  1. Katie Briones June 16, 2021 at 12:54 am

    I do not have an issue with wearing a mask;however, I have difficulty breathing through the paper masks the Greenville, NC VA clinic is requiring. I also had an issue with the mask staff at the front. The woman shoved a box of masks at me and said that I had to wear that one (paper). She then proceeded to ask my husband who is hard of hearing the “covid” questions. I started answering as he couldn’t hear the questions. The woman looked at me and said if you don’t like what I’m doing then go wait in your car. I deserve more respect than that as a veterans spouse and caretaker.

  2. jimmy Thomas June 3, 2021 at 10:25 am

    Biden administration clueless.

  3. Teri Welch May 24, 2021 at 8:22 pm

    Maine VA facilities Togus VA Hospital included need to stop requiring that veterans coming in for care and their caregivers need to stop requiring that you replace your mask with one of their disposable masks. Some of us are very allergic to some disposable masks and have no way of knowing until we put them on. I’m not talking a rash, but breathing issues, eyes tearing up and swelling almost shut. When we were last at Togus VA Hospital in Sept. 2020 at the beginning of a pandemic surge, there were tables set up in the lobby with people sitting at them checking people in as they entered. Masks were piled in a pile on the table not wrapped individually. Not very sanitary. You were also standing within 3 ft. of a person next to you with a short partition that didn’t completely separate you. There were nothing to clean check in kiosks in between users. People were cramming into the elevators. Stairs aren’t an option when your veteran uses a wheelchair. People had masks on, but were sitting shoulder to shoulder in the lab. Elevator and lab definitely a Maine CDC violation. One veteran after another was using the bathroom to obtain urine samples. There were no cleaning wipes in the bathroom. My veteran needs to visit the vascular clinic. We’re not anxious to go back anytime soon. Not sure I can get a community care referral. Thinking about using Medicare.

  4. Jaime Yepes May 21, 2021 at 7:04 am

    Your rules are contradicting. First you state above that if you are fully vaccinated “no masks are required”, then you contradict your self in the third line that masking requirement still in affect.
    Follow the science and the CDC rules. If I am fully vaccinated, why I am forced to use a mask at the VA clinic in South Hillsborough? Absurd. Draconian rules

  5. SW May 19, 2021 at 4:06 pm

    The Togus VA in Maine NEEDS to open up to allow veterans in to have in person appointments. It is the ONLY VA in the VISN 1, New England region that does not allow in person visits and it is ridiculous to keep saying “we’re working on it slowly”. Bravo Sierra!!! Is the Togus VA Hospital closing despite the appearance of new additions to the building? I feel it is closing and no one is man enough to tell us. It is the oldest veterans hospital in the country and it is being allowed to go down the toilet because VA WON’T hire staff and it is severely understaffed!!! This needs to be fixed. Also Togus does not allow one family member to visit hospitalized veterans either. This is ridiculous, those veterans need the contact and support of their family if they are expected to get better and illegally and unlawfully denying them the visitation of family is wrong!!!
    Get over yourself and do what is RIGHT!

  6. Diane Eastep May 19, 2021 at 12:20 pm

    My husband is in the hospital at the Mountain Home VA hospital and they won’t let me see him. They need to allow one visitor. Please get this changed right away. It is absolutely ridiculous since all of Tennessee now has no requirements like this and no mask mandates. I don’t mind wearing the mask but I have been fully vaccinated and there is no reason why I shouldn’t be allowed to see him.

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