BREAKING NEWS-CDC Now Recommends Masking Indoors for Certain Areas of Country and DOJ Clears Way for Employers to Mandate the Vaccine

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July 28, 2021

Yesterday the CDC issued new guidance recommending Americans to “wear a mask indoors in public if you are in an area of substantial or high transmission.” The site includes a link so individuals can search their particular county to find out if transmission is low, moderate, substantial, or high.  As of the date of this writing, Ruder Ware’s office locations in Brown County, Eau Claire County, and Marathon County all remain at “moderate” transmission levels according to the CDC.  The CDC guidance and county search engine can be found here.

This new guidance comes on the heels of the Department of Justice’s announcement Monday confirming what courts around the country have already decided—it is not unlawful for public or private employers to mandate the vaccine even if it is still in Emergency Use Authorization status.  The opinion, dated July 6, 2021, but not made public until this week, is written by the DOJ’s Office of Legal Counsel.  It opines that federal law “does not prohibit public or private entities from imposing vaccination requirements for vaccines that are subject to EUAs.”  It only requires that certain information be provided to individuals who receive the vaccine.  The DOJ opinion is here.

Months ago we cautioned employers that to mandate the vaccine while in EUA status was a murky area.  Recent litigation combined with this DOJ opinion have cleared the waters.

As always, our COVID team is doing its best to keep you apprised of these developments.  Do not hesitate to contact us for legal advice on your particular situation.

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