Biden administration says COVID-19 vaccination not a precondition to work in-person at federal buildings

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The Biden administration is not requiring federal employees to receive coronavirus vaccines in order to work on-site in federal buildings.

While the Safer Federal Workforce task force “strongly” recommends that employees receive the COVID-19 vaccines, it currently advises that vaccination status should not be a precondition for in-person employment.

“At present, COVID-19 vaccination should generally not be a pre-condition for employees or contractors at executive departments and agencies to work in-person in Federal buildings, on Federal lands, and in other settings as required by their job duties,” the guidance reads.

The government also states that employees should not be required to disclose their vaccination status. In instances where federal employees or contractors voluntarily disclose that they are not vaccinated – or when it is not clear – the government says CDC-supported mitigation efforts like masking and physical distancing should be implemented.

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The guidance was first reported by The Washington Post on Wednesday and precedes expected details from the government about the future of remote work. 

As noted by the publication, the Department of Defense also advised that supervisors should not generally ask about vaccination status.

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The Biden administration is engaged in a campaign to encourage more Americans to get the COVID-19 vaccine as the U.S. is expected to miss Biden’s goal of getting 70% of adults vaccinated by July 4.

More than 15 million people need to receive at least one dose in the next four weeks in order to meet the goal.

About 61.3% of people aged 12 and over have received at least one dose of the vaccine, according to data from the CDC. The rate increases to nearly 64% for people aged 18 and over.