Issue Briefs

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Following is new and updated guidance from the Safer Federal Workforce Task Force.


NEW Q: Are there restrictions on the size of agency-hosted in-person meetings, events, or conferences?

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A: No. Should an agency intend to host a meeting, conference, or event that will be attended in-person by more than 50 participants at a facility in a county where the COVID-19 Community Level is HIGH, the agency should first seek the approval of its agency head or official to which this responsibility has been delegated, in consultation with the agency’s COVID-19 Coordination Team.

NEW Q: Should in-person attendees at meetings, conferences, and events hosted by an agency be asked to provide information about vaccination status?

A: For meetings, conferences, and events hosted by an agency at a facility in a county where the COVID-19 Community Level is MEDIUM or HIGH, all in-person attendees should be asked to provide information about their vaccination status. In requesting this information, agencies should comply with any applicable Federal laws, including requirements under the Privacy Act and the Paperwork Reduction Act.

For these meetings, conferences, and events, in-person attendees who are not fully vaccinated or decline to provide information about their vaccination status should provide proof of a negative COVID-19 test completed within the previous 3 days and comply with relevant safety protocols, consistent with their vaccination status.

Visitors

NEW Q: Should visitors to Federal facilities provide proof of a negative COVID-19 test?

A: When the COVID-19 Community Level is MEDIUM or HIGH in a county where a Federal facility is located, visitors who are not fully vaccinated or who decline to provide information about their vaccination status should be able to provide proof of a negative COVID-19 test from within the previous 3 days when in that facility. At GSA-controlled facilities, it is the responsibility of the occupant agency associated with the visitor to ensure that individuals accessing the facility have the appropriate documentation given their COVID-19 vaccination status.

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Members of the public entering a Federal facility to obtain a public service or benefit do not need to provide proof of a negative COVID-19 test. If they are not fully vaccinated, visitors should comply with all relevant CDC guidance and follow established safety protocols for that facility, consistent with their vaccination status.

UPDATED Q: If a Federal employee seeks to enter a facility under the control of another agency, should they complete a Certification of Vaccination form at that facility?

A: Yes, Federal employees generally are treated as visitors during their visit to a facility under the control of another agency, meaning when the COVID-19 Community Level in the county where the agency facility is located is MEDIUM or HIGH, they should complete a Certification of Vaccination form and, if they are not fully vaccinated or decline to provide their vaccination information, they should be able to show proof of a negative COVID-19 test result within the past 3 days. As with other visitors, the employee should keep the documentation with them during their time onsite at the other agency.

UPDATED Q: Should agencies inquire regarding the vaccination status of visitors to Federal buildings?

A: When the COVID-19 Community Level is MEDIUM or HIGH in a county where a Federal facility is located, visitors to that facility should be asked to provide information about vaccination status. In requesting this information, agencies should comply with any applicable Federal laws, including requirements under the Privacy Act and the Paperwork Reduction Act.

When the COVID-19 Community Level is MEDIUM or HIGH in a county where a Federal facility is located, visitors who are not fully vaccinated or who decline to provide information about their vaccination status should be able to provide proof of a negative COVID-19 test from within the previous 3 days prior to entry to that facility.

These requirements related to the provision of information about vaccination and provision of proof of a recent negative COVID-19 test do not apply to members of the public entering a Federal building or Federal land to obtain a public service or benefit. However, these visitors must follow required workplace safety protocols consistent with their vaccination status while accessing the facility.

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UPDATED Q: How should an agency ask visitors about their vaccination status?

A: When the COVID-19 Community Level is MEDIUM or HIGH in a county where a Federal facility is located, agencies should provide visitors with the Certification of Vaccination form when they enter that facility. Agencies should direct visitors to complete the Certification of Vaccination form and keep it with them during their time on Federal premises—visitors may be asked to show the form upon entry to a Federal facility. If they are not fully vaccinated or decline to answer, they should be required to show a negative COVID-19 test result from within the previous 3 days.

Agencies may email the Certification of Vaccination form to visitors in advance of arrival or utilize a tool or application to share the form with visitors and enable visitors to easily complete it, but the agency should not maintain Certification of Vaccination forms from visitors.

Individuals entering a Federal building or Federal land to obtain a public service or benefit do not need to complete the form or show documentation of a negative COVID-19 test result. However, they must follow required workplace safety protocols consistent with their vaccination status while accessing the facility.

UPDATED Q: Should agencies require documentation from visitors to verify their attestation of vaccination status?

A: When the COVID-19 Community Level is MEDIUM or HIGH in a county where a Federal facility is located, visitors to that facility (except those visitors seeking a public benefit or service, who do not need to attest to or otherwise document vaccination status) should attest to their vaccination status using the Certification of Vaccination form, but agencies should not ask those visitors for documentation to verify their attestation.

UPDATED Q: When the COVID-19 Community Level in a county where a Federal facility is located is MEDIUM or HIGH, what type of negative COVID-19 test result should a visitor or onsite contractor employee who is not fully vaccinated be able to show documentation of when in that facility?

A: Agencies may determine what types of tests a visitor or onsite contractor employee who is not fully vaccinated must be able to show documentation of when in a Federal facility that is in a county where the COVID-19 Community Level is MEDIUM or HIGH, provided that the tests are authorized by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to detect current infection and produce a dated result. At GSA-controlled facilities, it is the responsibility of the occupant agency associated with the visitor or onsite contractor employee to ensure that individuals accessing the facility have the appropriate documentation given their COVID-19 vaccination status.

UPDATED Q: Should visitors seeking to access GSA-controlled facilities be required to be fully vaccinated for COVID-19 as a condition of entry?

A: No, visitors seeking to access GSA-controlled facilities should not be required to be fully vaccinated for COVID-19 as a condition of entry. Visitors should follow required workplace safety protocols consistent with their vaccination status while accessing the facility.

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When the COVID-19 Community Level in the county where a Federal facility is located is MEDIUM or HIGH, visitors should present a completed Certification of Vaccination form to the security officer as a condition of entry to that facility. Security officers will admit visitors to GSA-controlled facilities after being presented with the Certification of Vaccination form. Security officers will not collect a visitor’s Certification of Vaccination form. Occupant agencies are responsible for providing the Certification of Vaccination form to their visitors, determining the vaccination status of the visitor, and ensuring the visitor has the appropriate documentation given their COVID-19 vaccination status.

Visitors wishing to enter a Federal facility to obtain a public service or benefit should not be required to present a completed Certification of Vaccination form to the security officer as a condition of entry, although they should follow required safety protocols consistent with their vaccination status while accessing the facility.

Delivery drivers, couriers, U.S. Postal Service employees, Federal Express employees, United Parcel Service employees, and other “transient visitors”, meaning visitors accessing a Federal facility for less than approximately 15 minutes who interact with very few people, should not be required to present a completed Certification of Vaccination form to the security officer as a condition of entry, even when the local COVID-19 Community Level in the county where the Federal facility is located is MEDIUM or HIGH. They should be required to follow required safety protocols consistent with their vaccination status while accessing the facility.

Additionally, emergency personnel responding to an emergency in a Federal facility, as determined by GSA, a facility’s security officers, or individual occupant agencies within a facility, should not be required to present a completed Certification of Vaccination form to the security officer as a condition of entry, even when the local COVID-19 Community Level in the county where the Federal facility is located is MEDIUM or HIGH. They should be required to follow required safety protocols consistent with their vaccination status while accessing the facility.

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Onsite Contractors

UPDATED Q: Should agencies require documentation from onsite contractor employees to verify their attestation of vaccination status?

A: When the COVID-19 Community Level is MEDIUM or HIGH in a county where a Federal facility is located, onsite contractor employees should attest to their vaccination status by being able to present a completed Certification of Vaccination form while in that Federal facility.

Agencies should not ask onsite contractor employees for documentation to verify their attestation. When a contractor employee declines to complete the attestation, agencies should treat that individual as not fully vaccinated for purposes of implementing its safety protocols.

UPDATED Q: Are onsite contractor employees who are enrolled in an agency screening testing program limited in their ability to work onsite in between tests?

A: No, provided that the onsite contractor employees have met any applicable testing requirement and have not tested positive for COVID-19, onsite contractor employees who are enrolled in an agency screening testing program are not limited in their ability to work onsite between tests, although they must comply with all relevant safety protocols consistent with their vaccination status. However, if the onsite contractor employee has come into close contact with a person with probable or confirmed COVID-19 during this time, they should follow CDC guidelines and agency safety protocols for testing and quarantine and not enter a worksite if they need to quarantine. Similarly, if they have symptoms consistent with COVID-19 or test positive using a COVID-19 viral test, they should not enter a worksite.

Agencies should develop a procedure for addressing circumstances in which onsite contractor employees enrolled in an agency screening testing program miss their required test, which may include restricting the individual’s access to worksites if they have not obtained a test within a period of time specified by the agency.

An onsite contractor employee’s failure to comply with testing requirements may result in that individual being denied entry to a Federal facility. Such circumstances do not relieve the contractor from meeting all contractual requirements.

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UPDATED Q: Should agencies inquire regarding the vaccination status of onsite contractor employees?

A: When the COVID-19 Community Level is MEDIUM or HIGH in a county where a Federal facility is located, agencies should ask about the vaccination status of contractor employees working onsite at that facility. Onsite contractor employees should attest to the truthfulness of the response they provide. If an onsite contractor employee chooses not to provide a response, they should be treated as not fully vaccinated for the purpose of agency safety protocols. In requesting this information, agencies should comply with any applicable Federal laws, including requirements under the Privacy Act and the Paperwork Reduction Act.

UPDATED Q: Should onsite contractor employees provide proof of a negative COVID-19 test?

A: When the COVID-19 Community Level is MEDIUM or HIGH in a county where a Federal facility is located, onsite contractor employees who are not fully vaccinated or who decline to provide information about their vaccination status should be able to provide proof of a negative COVID-19 test from within the previous 3 days when in that facility. If a contractor employee is regularly tested pursuant to an agency testing program, then they do not need to be able to provide proof of a negative COVID-19 test from within the previous 3 days when in a Federal facility unless required to by the agency testing program.

UPDATED Q: How should an agency ask onsite contractor employees about their vaccination status?

A: When the COVID-19 Community Level is MEDIUM or HIGH in a county where a Federal facility is located, onsite contractor employees should be provided with the Certification of Vaccination form when they enter that facility.

Unless an agency has an existing system of records notice that permits it to collect and maintain this information on its contractor employees, agencies should direct onsite contractor employees to complete the Certification of Vaccination form and keep it with them during their time on Federal premises—they may be asked to show the form when in the Federal facility and to a Federal employee who oversees their work.

When the COVID-19 Community Level is MEDIUM or HIGH in a county where a Federal facility is located, onsite contractor employees who are not fully vaccinated (or who decline to disclose their vaccination status) should be able to show proof of a negative COVID-19 test result from within the previous 3 days when in that facility. If a contractor employee is enrolled in an agency screening testing program, then they do not need to be able to provide proof of a negative COVID-19 test from within the previous 3 days when in a Federal facility unless required to by the agency screening testing program. At GSA-controlled facilities, it is the responsibility of the occupant agency associated with the onsite contractor employee to ensure that they have the appropriate documentation given their COVID-19 vaccination status.

Agencies may email the Certification of Vaccination form to contractor employees in advance of their time on-site or utilize a tool or application to share the form with contractor employees and enable them to easily complete it, but the agency should not maintain Certification of Vaccination forms from contractor employees unless an agency has a system of records notice that covers its collection of this information from onsite contractor employees. Any such collection, storage, or maintenance of the attestation disclosure forms may implicate the Privacy Act and Paperwork Reduction Act.

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