Workers at Ford, GM, Stellantis facilities required to wear mask regardless of health status, UAW says

Masking rules take effect Aug. 4

FILE - In this Sept. 27, 2018, file photo robots weld the bed of a 2018 Ford F-150 truck on the assembly line at the Ford Rouge assembly plant in Dearborn, Mich. Ford says it wants to reopen five North American assembly plants in April 2020 that were closed due to the threat of coronavirus. The three Detroit automakers suspended production at North American factories March 19 ago under pressure from the United Auto Workers union, which had concerns about members working closely at work stations and possibly spreading the virus. (AP Photo/Carlos Osorio, File) (Carlos Osorio, Copyright 2018 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.)

DETROIT – Autoworkers at all plants and offices at the Big 3 will be required to wear a mask, regardless of health status, the UAW confirmed on Tuesday.

The new mask policy starts Wednesday, Aug. 4, for all Ford, General Motors and Stellantis personnel at all plants, offices and warehouses. The mask requirement is in response to the revised CDC guidance on masks released last week, recommending masks in places were COVID-19 spread was high.

“The Task Force met and, after reviewing the recently changed CDC guidelines and community COVID-19 trends, decided it is best for worker safety to resume wearing masks in all worksites,” the UAW said. “While we know that masks can be uncomfortable, the spread of the Delta variant and recent data outlining the alarmingly high rate of transmission among those unvaccinated is a serious health threat.”

In Michigan, COVID-19 cases have been on the rise for the last few weeks.

The CDC is recommending people who live in areas experiencing “high” (red on the map) or “substantial” (orange) COVID-19 spread wear masks in indoor places, regardless of health status. About 79% of U.S. counties fall into this category as of July 31, according to the CDC’s data tracker, mostly in southern states. The entire state of Florida is in the “high” risk category.

Last week, only 10 counties in Michigan fell into these two categories, but now -- nearly half of the state’s population is entering the CDC mask guideline range. As of July 31, 24 counties now fall into the “substantial” community spread category, including Oakland, Livingston, Macomb and Saginaw counties, and a handful are in the “high” category.

Read more: Nearly half of Michigan now falls under revised CDC mask guideline range for COVID spread

The UAW is “strongly encouraging” all members, co-workers and families to get vaccinated. “The more our members, coworkers and their families are vaccinated, the quicker we can vanquish this deadly pandemic,” the UAW said.

Autoworkers at all plants and offices at the Big 3 will be required to wear a mask, regardless of health status, the UAW confirmed on Tuesday.

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Ken Haddad is the digital content and audience manager for WDIV / He also authors the Morning Report Newsletter and various other newsletters. He's been with WDIV since 2013. He enjoys suffering through Lions games on Sundays in the fall.