DETROIT – Face masks are now optional for Ford, General Motors and Stellantis employees, officials announced Tuesday morning.
The automotive employees are no longer required to wear a face mask if their facility is in a region identified as having a high COVID-19 risk, according to a statement from the United Auto Workers (UAW) union. The companies in March reinstated a temporary mask mandate only for those in regions at high risk for infection.
Now, Ford, GM and Stellantis workers will be strongly urged to wear a mask if their facility is in a high-risk county, but staff will not be required to wear one. Face masks will still be available to staff members who choose to wear one, officials said.
Leaders will reportedly continue to “monitor data carefully and make any adjustments necessary to protect the health and safety of employees,” a press release reads Tuesday. If a region becomes labeled as “high risk” by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, leaders will communicate that to their employees, officials said.
Daily new COVID-19 cases in Michigan have been slowing since mid-May, though infection rates are still somewhat high.
On Wednesday, June 15, the state of Michigan reported an average of 2,225 daily new virus cases over a 7-day period. That average was about 2,636 daily new cases the week prior, and 2,791 cases the week before that.
As of June 15, the state’s positive COVID test rate was at 11.9%, and dropping from 16.2% the week prior. Michigan is only reporting new COVID-19 data on Wednesdays.