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Department of Homeland Security will require all employees to wear masks and socially distance, even if they're vaccinated

Business Insider
Business Insider
 2021-07-28

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The Department of Homeland Security building in Washington, DC.
  • The Department of Homeland Security is now requiring employees to wear masks indoors and socially distance.
  • The agency said even vaccinated employees would be required to do so.
  • The policy was made as COVID-19 cases involving the Delta variant continue to surge across the US.
  • See more stories on Insider's business page .

The US Department of Homeland Security announced on Wednesday that all of its employees must now wear masks indoors and socially distance to help prevent the spread of COVID-19.

The agency said the policy takes effect immediately and applies to everyone, even those who have been vaccinated.

The new policy was announced as cases involving the Delta variant continue to surge across the country. DHS said it was following guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention when it made the policy.

The CDC announced Tuesday that it was recommending people wear masks in public indoor settings in areas of substantial or high transmission to help stop the spread of COVID-19.

"Infections happen in only a small proportion of people who are fully vaccinated, even with the Delta variant," the CDC said. "However, preliminary evidence suggests that fully vaccinated people who do become infected with the Delta variant can spread the virus to others."

Read more: CDC: Color-coded map shows where Americans need to wear masks again, and where you can go maskless, outside of schools

The US Department of Veterans Affairs on Monday became the first federal agency to require healthcare workers get vaccinated .

The department said in a statement the decision came after outbreaks lead to the deaths of four unvaccinated employees, three of whom were confirmed to be affected by the Delta variant.

The federal requirements come amid a slew of similar announcements from the governments of major US cities. On Tuesday, Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti announced that all city employees are required to be vaccinated. One day earlier, New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio announced all city workers were required to be fully vaccinated or submit to weekly tests.

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