LANSING – MIOSHA is strongly encouraging Michigan employers to follow recently updated Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) guidelines due to the Delta variant of COVID-19.
According to the CDC, the Delta variant is much more contagious, may infect those that have been vaccinated and may also allow vaccinated individuals to spread the virus. Prior to Delta, the probability for vaccinated individuals to spread the virus was considered low.
“As transmission rates accelerate rapidly in many Michigan counties, Michigan employers should monitor the spread of COVID-19 in their local communities and follow the CDC’s guiding principles for both fully vaccinated and unvaccinated people to ensure we are all doing our part to keep workplaces safe for employees and customers,” said COVID-19 Workplace Safety Director Sean Egan.
Since dialing back workplace rules for non-healthcare settings in June to align with Federal OSHA, MIOSHA has encouraged employers to adopt policies that follow CDC guidelines.
“MIOSHA remains committed to protecting the safety and health of Michigan workers during this pandemic,” said MIOSHA Director Bart Pickelman. “As more Michigan communities move toward substantial or high levels of community transmission due to the Delta variant, MIOSHA is urging employers across the state to follow the CDC’s updated guidelines to protect employees and contain the spread of COVID-19.”
For areas with substantial or high community transmission, the CDC recommends implementing face coverings for all employees and visitors indoors (including fully vaccinated individuals), and adopting the CDC recommended testing strategy for vaccinated employees that have been exposed to a COVID-19-positive person.
Vaccines are safe and effective and remain the key to ending this pandemic. Likewise, face coverings reduce potential transmission from those infected by containing the large respiratory droplets and aerosols expelled when we breathe, cough, sneeze or talk.
CDC guidance for fully vaccinated individuals includes:
- Outdoor activities pose minimal risk to fully vaccinated people.
- Most indoor activities pose low risk to fully vaccinated people, especially in areas with low or moderate transmission.
- Infections happen in only a small proportion of people who are fully vaccinated, even with the Delta variant.
- Fully vaccinated people who become infected with the Delta variant can transmit it to others.
To reduce their risk of becoming infected with the Delta variant and potentially spreading it to others, the CDC recommends that fully vaccinated people:
- Wear a mask in public indoor settings if they are in an area of substantial or high transmission.
- Consider choosing to mask regardless of the level of transmission, particularly if they or someone in their household is immunocompromised or at increased risk for severe disease, or if someone in their household is unvaccinated.
- Get tested if experiencing COVID-19 symptoms.
- Isolate if they have tested positive for COVID-19 in the prior 10 days or are experiencing COVID-19 symptoms.
- Get tested 3-5 days after exposure to someone with suspected or confirmed COVID-19 and wear a mask in public indoor settings for 14 days after exposure or until they receive a negative test result.
- Continue to follow any applicable federal, state, local, tribal, or territorial laws, rules, and regulations.
For those who are not vaccinated, the CDC recommends getting vaccinated and continuing to mask until they are fully vaccinated. Per the CDC’s latest update, “With the Delta variant, this is more urgent than ever.”