Recently, CDC – Centre for Disease Control announced the latest guidance to change COVID-19 reporting, testing, and safety protocols for all federal agencies and employees.
This step was taken after the court analyzed Biden’s power to impose a COVID-19 vaccine mandate on contractors. According to the Task Force, federal agencies can stop requesting current or prospective employees and contractors to submit their COVID-19 vaccination status.
This update was soon followed by another update by the Safer Federal Workforce Task Force guidance. It says that the federal government is no more required to take action or enforce EO 14042 on their employees. This Executive Order exclusively dealt with COVID-19 safety protocols for federal contractors.
This development signals many things, including the beginning of the end of COVID-19’s influence on the federal sector. However, many federal employees remain inquisitive as to how new guidance will affect their future employment status.
How Does Updated Vaccine Guidance Impact Federal Employees?
While we analyze the impact of these new guidelines, it is equally essential to understand that they majorly concern the isolation and testing requirements for both unvaccinated and vaccinated federal employees. Here are some of the major updated highlights that every federal employee should be aware of.
Here are the Latest Guidelines
- Employees who have tested positive for COVID-19 should wear a face mask for at least the coming ten days. They should also get tested five days after the exposure.
- They should self-isolate immediately after experiencing COVID-19 symptoms or testing positive for it. Isolation must be for at least five days depending upon the risk category of an individual. And the duration for isolation extends to 10 days for individuals with an immunocompromised or severe reaction to the virus.
- Screening and testing of asymptomatic individuals without any known exposure will no longer be required in community settings.
- Moreover, federal agencies can pause the functions of an existing onsite contractor employee to inquire about their COVID-19 immunization status. It can be done regardless of the COVID-19 Community Levels and where safety protocols do not change based on vaccination status.
- According to the latest vaccine guidance, individuals who have taken doses of a WHO EUL COVID-19 vaccine can be considered 100% vaccinated after two weeks of completing the vaccine doses. They can go for Moderna, AstraZeneca/Oxford, and Pfizer-BioNTech vaccines.
Following these updates, the Biden administration ordered agencies to stop their COVID-19 screening programs for unvaccinated citizens. Many healthcare agencies are still identifying ways to suspend these testing operations as per the guidelines.
The combination of contract, civilian, and military staff creates roadblocks to creating a universal solution to safeguard the federal department and its workforce and, at the same time, following the new testing policy of the US government.
However, please note that there are some exceptions to the limitation of screening for COVID-19 for unvaccinated individuals in nursing homes, government offices, and homeless shelters. Moreover, the White House guidance asks the officials to complete any ongoing COVID-19 testing at the earliest.
Federal employees can reach out to their employers or check the official website of the authorities to get a better understanding of the latest vaccine guidance regarding COVID-19. They can also go through an online guide to federal contract vaccine contract 2022 for more details.
Linda Rawson, who is the founder of DynaGrace Enterprises (dynagrace.com), an 8(a) graduate and EDWOSB, contributed to the content of this blog. She is the founder of GovCon-Biz. For further information, please connect with Linda on LinkedIn, or contact her at (800) 676-0058 ext 101.
Please reach out to us at GovCon-Biz should you have any questions.