The White House’s Safer Federal Workforce Task Force has released new guidance that calls on agencies to relax some COVID-19 protocols by August 22.

The task force’s new guidance comes after the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) released simplified and streamlined COVID-19 guidance on August 11.

The task force’s guidance calls on agencies to stop any COVID-19 screening testing programs that differentiate among an individual’s vaccination status. However, agencies may continue testing programs that do not differentiate individuals based on their vaccination status.

The task force is also calling on agencies to stop asking individuals for their COVID-19 vaccination status when attending in-person agency-hosted events – regardless of COVID-19 community levels, where protocols do not vary based on vaccination status.

Additionally, the guidance no longer requires unvaccinated individuals who have been exposed to the virus to not enter Federal facilities or go in person for official responsibilities for at least five days. Instead, agencies should have all individuals exposed to COVID-19 – regardless of vaccination status – follow the CDC’s updated guidance.

“We’re in a stronger place today as a nation, with more tools – like vaccination, boosters, and treatments – to protect ourselves, and our communities, from severe illness from COVID-19,” said Greta Massetti, PhD, MPH, senior scientist at the CDC.

“We also have a better understanding of how to protect people from being exposed to the virus, like wearing high-quality masks, testing, and improved ventilation,” she added. “This guidance acknowledges that the pandemic is not over, but also helps us move to a point where COVID-19 no longer severely disrupts our daily lives.”

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Grace Dille
Grace Dille
Grace Dille is MeriTalk's Assistant Managing Editor covering the intersection of government and technology.