UAW: Face masks now optional at Ford, General Motors, Stellantis facilities

Employees in ‘high risk’ counties still urged to mask up

The last Chevrolet Impala comes off the production line at the Detroit-Hamtramck (DHAM) vehicle assembly plant at 8:30 a.m. on Feb. 27, 2020. (Jeffrey Sauger,Jeffrey Sauger,Jeffrey Sauger, © 2020 Jeffrey Sauger)

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.

See here: Interactive map: COVID community levels and case rates by Michigan county

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.

Click here to see more Michigan COVID data.

About the Author:

Cassidy Johncox is a senior digital news editor covering stories across the spectrum, with a special focus on politics and community issues.