On July 29, 2021, President Biden’s Safer Federal Workforce Task Force established as part of Executive Order No. 13991, implemented new federal workplace safety principles attempting to combat the recent rise of COVID-19 infections and hospitalizations.
These Agency Model Safety Principles affect both federal government employees and contractors with personnel working at federal government installations. Key points contractors should currently be aware of include:
- Fully Vaccinated Personnel. All fully vaccinated onsite contractor personnel must sign an attestation confirming their vaccination status. Those that refuse will be treated as unvaccinated. Contractors in areas of high or substantial transmission, as defined by the CDC COVID-19 Data Tracker County View, are required to wear masks inside federal facilities. Masks are not required in areas of low or moderate transmission.
- Unvaccinated or Partially Vaccinated Personnel. Regardless of community transmission level, unvaccinated or partially vaccinated onsite contractor personnel are required to wear a mask on the job, physically distance themselves from other workers and visitors, and undergo weekly or twice-weekly COVID-19 testing.
These requirements are currently limited to contractors working at federal installations. The Biden Administration, however, is drafting a plan to extend vaccination requirements to all federal government contractor employees. In anticipation, federal government contractors should consider a vaccine mandate for all employees before the White House implements the plan to avoid contract disruption.