Use of Face Coverings
The following updated guidance on face coverings is effective as of July 28, 2021.
The Laboratory updated its requirements for everyone on site, effective July 28, to reduce the spread of COVID-19, including the Delta variant, which in rare cases has infected people who are fully vaccinated. It is important to note that getting vaccinated continues to prevent severe illness, hospitalizations, and death. With the Delta variant, vaccination is more urgent than ever and is strongly encouraged for those who haven't already done so.
Based on guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and U.S. Department of Energy, all persons on site—even if fully vaccinated—must wear a face covering.
Additional Guidance on Face Coverings
Face coverings must be worn in all public and work areas within buildings on site. Face coverings must be worn in all indoor face-to-face meetings and are required at security checkpoints. Lab Security Police Officers may direct individuals to lower or temporarily remove their face covering to verify identity. Face coverings are also required inside government-owned vehicles when more than one person is in the vehicle.
Additional Guidance on Social Distancing
Everyone on site must also maintain six feet of distance from co-workers, except:
- When alone in an area separated by floor-to-ceiling walls with the door closed
- During intermittent eating and drinking
The Laboratory also recognizes an additional exception to the requirement to maintain six feet of distance from others: When the nature of the physical work requires individuals to be within six feet in order to conduct the work safely. Appropriate work planning and face coverings are still required in such circumstances.
What to Do If You Have COVID-19 Symptoms or Test Positive
As I mentioned in my message on July 28, any staff member who feels sick and displays COVID-19 symptoms—or who tests positive for COVID-19—should stay home from work and call the Occupational Medicine Clinic (Ext. 3670). Additional steps are described in the Lab's checklists.
If you have questions, please send them to the Laboratory's COVID-19 Task Force.
We continue to monitor national and regional conditions, and will advise you when the masking requirement for vaccinated individuals will be relaxed.
With changing conditions, I thank you all for your efforts to keep each other safe and healthy while we deliver on the Laboratory's mission.
- Jack Anderson
Deputy Director for Operations