Automobile

Detroit 3 to keep mask mandates in place until OSHA issues next guidance

A COVID-19 task force made up of the UAW, General Motors, Ford Motor Co. and Stellantis said Wednesday it will keep in place mask mandates at work sites for now.

The decision was made “out of an abundance of caution, ” said the union and companies, which began reviewing their mask policies after the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention last week lifted several mask mandates for completely vaccinated Americans.

The task force ultimately decided to require employees at Detroit 3 worksites to wear masks at least until the U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration issues guidelines in response to the new CDC guidance. On its website, OSHA says it is reviewing the CDC’s guidance.

“We know that masks can be uncomfortable, but we ask that everyone comply,” the task force said in a statement.

The task force is set to reconvene in two weeks to review any updates, including any from OSHA.

The UAW and the automakers previously indicated a preference for keeping existing procedures in place at least until OSHA weighs in. The Detroit 3 also said they plan to comply with local and state requirements where they operate facilities.

The task force also renewed calls for people to get COVID-19 vaccinations.

“While we continue following the protocols that have kept our workplaces safe, we know that one of the best ways to fight this virus is by getting vaccinated,” the task force said in the statement. “We encourage everyone to roll up their sleeve so we can move more quickly toward continuing to relax our protocols.”

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