Fedweek

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Just a month after loosening its mask-wearing policies for employees the USPS has retightened them for its mail processing and logistics, retail and delivery and vehicle operations facilities.

“Effective immediately, all employees are required to wear face coverings in the following situations regardless of their vaccination status, or until further notice: when there is a local, state, or tribal face covering order or directive in place; or when an employee who does not deal directly with the public and cannot achieve or maintain social distancing in the workplace,” says an August 27 memo.

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“Employees in administrative office buildings (non-mail processing facilities where employees are in offices or divided workspaces) who cannot maintain social distance must wear a face covering regardless of vaccination status. Facilities should ensure they have adequate masks and face coverings available for employee use. Employees who cannot wear face coverings for medical reasons should contact their supervisor,” it adds.

Due to its semi-corporate structure, the USPS has been setting its own policies regarding pandemic protections, although they largely mirror government-wide policies affecting other agencies. For example, while general policies on mask-wearing for vaccinated employees were eased in May during a lull in Coronavirus infections, the Postal Service didn’t follow suit until late July.

Just about the same time the Postal Service eased its policies, the general policies were being tightened to generally require mask-wearing indoors even by fully vaccinated people in areas designated by the CDC as having “substantial” or “high” transmission of the virus. At the time that was the case in about 80 percent of counties nationwide; currently, it is all but about 3 percent.

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2022 Federal Employees Handbook