BY MAIRE O’NEILL
Los Alamos National Laboratory Director Thom Mason announced to employees Friday that the indoor mask requirement is being relaxed for all fully vaccinated individuals on-site.
In a memo to employees, Mason noted that last week, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) relaxed the requirement for indoor mask wearing in those regions that are judged to be low and medium risk for transmission of COVID-19 but that at that time, Los Alamos County and some of the surrounding counties were still categorized as high risk.
“Because conditions have improved, the CDC has updated the Community Level for Los Alamos County to medium and surrounding counties are also low or medium so the Laboratory is relaxing the indoor mask mandate for all employees who are fully vaccinated,” Mason said.
He reminded employees that COVID-19 still exists in the surrounding communities and noted that all employees who wish to continue wearing masks are encouraged to do so and asked everyone at the Laboratory to be respectful of that decision.
“Additionally, current policy with respect to those who are unvaccinated has not changed. Unvaccinated individuals must continue to wear a mask at all time while on-site. Laboratory policy also requires that unvaccinated visitors provide a negative COVID test within 72 hours of coming on site,” the memo states. “Triad has been following, and will continue to follow, direction from both the CDC and the Department of Energy’s Safer Federal workplace guidance. Laboratory leaders will monitor conditions in the surrounding counties carefully and be ready to respond should conditions change.”
The memo notes that given the changes in COVID-19 risk and the CDC guidance, accommodations for unvaccinated employees who are on leave without pay are being evaluarted.