Mask policy changes in Michigan raise questions about workplace safety

MIOSHA to post updated workplace rules

Mask policy changes in Michigan raise questions about workplace safety

Following the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s new guidance on masks last week, the dominoes are slowly falling in Michigan.

The state dropped its mask mandate two days later and some stores quickly followed.

READ: LIST: Which Michigan stores still require masks to enter - and which don’t?

But what about their workers?

In a statement alerting customers that they didn’t have to wear a mask, Meijer said “Our team members will still be required to wear face coverings while we evaluate regulatory requirements.”

Those requirements seem to have changed with an announcement Monday from the state’s COVID-19 workplace safety director.

“MIOSHA (Michigan Occupational Safety and Health Administration) will soon post updated workplace rules reflecting the CDC’s recent guidance on face masks for fully vaccinated people.”

COVID-19 workplace safety director Sean Egan

“If there’s one thing our members have learned over the past year, is how to operate safely and protect their employees and their customers,” said Rich Studley with the Michigan Chamber of Commerce.

Studley said he is frustrated that this non-order is coming down after the CDC’s announcement because every day matters to businesses.

“How about if we start treating Michiganders as adults, and allow individual employees and individual customers, and individual businesses to make the adult decisions they’re now capable of making and prepared to make,” he said.

READ: Stores, shoppers navigate new CDC guidelines for mask use

READ: Michigan Nurses Association recommends CDC reverse new relaxed mask mandate

What’s behind the CDC’s decision to lift mask recommendations for fully vaccinated people

Many people want to know why the CDC suddenly decided to lift mask recommendations for people who are fully vaccinated.

Some of the updates in mask guidance for fully vaccinated people come from a study that was published last Friday in the CDC’s publication, the Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report. That study, and others that have supported the effectiveness of the mRNA vaccines in particular, are what prompted the CDC to change the guidelines for mask use.

While the change was announced suddenly, it came after gradually increasing data over months that indicated we should have high confidence in the ability of the vaccines to protect people from severe disease and death.

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About the Author:

Jason anchors Local 4's 5:30 p.m. newscast. He joined WDIV in January 2015 as a general assignment reporter and has a Journalism degree from Michigan State University.