Mask Mandate
by Rockwell Sands @

USPS Lifts Mask Mandate for Fully Vaccinated Workers

USPS lifts mask mandate for fully vaccinated employees and won't require proof of vaccination status; CDC plans to revise mask guidance for fully vaccinated Americans

In an online post the agency shared on Monday, USPS has lifted mask mandates for fully vaccinated employees. The policy decision comes months after mask mandates were lifted for other federal workers.

USPS Lifting its Mask Mandate Comes at a Time of Rising Cases…Again

While USPS lifting its mask mandate is a sign of progress against the Coronavirus pandemic, COVID-19 cases are once again on the rise. At the time of this publication, fully vaccinated Americans make up less than roughly 50% of the total population. According to the CDC, most of the new infections are appearing in Americans not vaccinated against COVID-19. Just one day after USPS revised its mask guidance, the CDC recommended that vaccinated Americans continue wearing masks in indoor settings.

Despite amending mask guidance, USPS won’t require employees to provide proof of vaccination at any time. In the post from Monday, the agency said the following:

“The Postal Service does not require supporting verification of COVID-19 vaccination status, and managers and supervisors should not request this information.”

According to USPS, employees not fully vaccinated must still wear a mask in situations where they can’t maintain at least 6 feet of distance from other workers and customers.

COVID-19 Proved to be a Difficult Time for USPS Staffing

The Coronavirus pandemic created an interesting paradigm for USPS: record package growth coupled with staffing shortages.

Due to this combination, Postmaster General Louis DeJoy stated that the record-breaking 1.1 billion packages USPS handled during 2020’s peak holiday season “substantially surpassed” what the agency was capable of processing. He also said poor performance during this period came from the following four factors:

  • A lack of space in USPS facilities to store packages
  • A lack of sorting equipment
  • Restricted transportation networks; and
  • Low employee availability

When speaking of the effects, DeJoy said the following:

“While our commitment to our mission was significant last peak season, our efforts could not overcome the challenging circumstances we faced. The service we provided the American people suffered as a result.”

While COVID-19 cases continue to climb, the CDC may very well revise mask guidance for both vaccinated and unvaccinated Americans. As a result, USPS could fall under the same specific strain as before: higher package volume with low employee availability. Should this happen, as Postmaster General DeJoy said, the American people will end up paying the price.

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