On July 29, 2021, the Biden Administration announced that every federal government employee and onsite contractor must attest to their vaccination status. At the same time, the Safer Federal Workforce Task Force which oversees the development and implementation of agency COVID-19 workplace safety plans issued the COVID-19 Workplace Safety: Agency Model Safety Principles. The Agency Model Safety Principles must be incorporated into current COVID-19 workplace safety plans. (JD Supra September 2, 2021)
Agency Model Safety Principles:
- Attestation form signed by onsite contractors to confirm their vaccination.
- Contractors refusing to sign the attestation form will be treated as not fully vaccinated, for purposes of safety protocols.
- All contractors who refuse to sign the attestation form or who are not fully vaccinated must wear a mask in all settings, physically distance, and take a weekly or twice-weekly COVID-19 screening test.
- Agencies must create a program to test those not fully vaccinated.
- Fully vaccinated onsite contractors do not need to be tested, physically distance themselves or wear a mask in areas of moderate or low transmission.
- All individuals, regardless of vaccination status, must wear a mask in areas of high or substantial transmission. (ibid)
The mandate currently deals only with contractors working on federal facilities. However, the White House stated that “President Biden is directing his team to take steps to apply similar standards to all federal contractors.” (ibid)
The Safer Federal Workforce Task Force urges agencies to provide onsite contractors with the Certification of Vaccination form as they enter any federally-controlled work area. Contractors will be required to keep the form with them while they are on federal premises. Contractors should be ready to show the Certification of Vaccination upon entry to a federal building or federally-controlled indoor site. Contractors entering without a form will be required to show proof of a negative COVID-19 test, taken within the past 3 days, before entry is permitted. (ibid)
As with all things “COVID,” the policies are evolving and changing regularly. It is incumbent upon the federal contractor to stay apprised.
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