On January 29, 2021, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration issued guidance stating employers should still require employees who have received the COVID-19 vaccine to continue to wear masks and follow other protocols such as social distancing in the workplace. In short, employers should maintain the same protocols for vaccinated as for unvaccinated employees. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has stated it does not have enough information yet to determine how vaccines impact transmission of the virus. Put another way, it is possible that even vaccinated employees might be able to transmit the virus even if they themselves do not develop COVID-19.
While certainly a disappointing statement, considering the hope of a return to some semblance of normality after a vaccine became widely available, this guidance may prove to be fluid and may be revised several times as knowledge of the effects of the vaccine develop.