September 2, 2021

Workplace Guidance Outlines Recommended Policies for Fully Vaccinated People

A new document published by the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS) Worker Training Program outlines workplace guidance regarding policies for people who are fully vaccinated for SARS-CoV-2. The document lists guiding principles for employers and describes considerations for infection control plans and policies. NIEHS’ suggestions are based on federal guidance as of August 2021, and the institute stresses that information and recommendations will change over time based on what is known or anticipated about the coronavirus.

Current evidence indicates that fully vaccinated people have a reduced risk of getting COVID-19 and of transmitting SARS-CoV-2 if they are exposed, the NIEHS guidance says. The document urges employers to use multiple interventions concurrently to reduce the spread of COVID-19. In addition to vaccination, NIEHS recommends interventions such as using face coverings consistently and correctly, maximizing ventilation through dilution and filtration of air, maintaining physical distance, and avoiding crowds. While most work activities pose minimal risk to fully vaccinated people, NIEHS stresses the importance of wearing face coverings indoors—regardless of vaccine status—in crowded settings such as meatpacking and processing plants and schools.

View all of NIEHS’ recommendations in its COVID-19 brief (PDF).