The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the City of Philadelphia have updated their guidance for individuals fully vaccinated against COVID-19, and now recommend that fully vaccinated individuals wear masks in public indoor settings.
The [City of Philadelphia] Department of Licenses and Inspections (L&I) has clarified how current mask recommendations apply to construction work.
- For vaccinated individuals, mask-wearing is strongly recommended for indoor construction work. The Health Department has not recommended that vaccinated people wear masks outdoors.
- For unvaccinated individuals, mask-wearing is strongly recommended for indoor construction work and double-masking is encouraged. Unvaccinated individuals are encouraged to wear masks even when working outdoors.
In certain indoor settings, masks continue to be required for all individuals, including those who have been vaccinated. This means that when performing construction activities in these settings, both vaccinated individuals and unvaccinated individuals are required to wear masks. The settings include:
- Health care institutions, including temporary community healthcare events such as vaccine clinics and blood drives
- Congregate facilities such as prisons, shelters, and adult day programs
- Indoor schools, camps, and early childhood education facilities
Mask wearing is also required on public transportation including planes, trains, buses, taxis, and ride share vehicles.
The CDC and the City of Philadelphia both continue to strongly recommend that all eligible individuals get the COVID-19 vaccine.
May Employers Ask Employees if They are Vaccinated?
YES, employers may ask employees their vaccination status. It is NOT a HIPAA violation.
Asking your employees vaccination status can help you plan your safety protocols. Here are some points to keep in mind:
- If you plan to ask employees their vaccination status, you should coordinate these efforts through human resources, environment, health, and safety (EHS) personnel or others experienced in the proper collection and storage of employee health information in accordance with the Americans with Disabilities Act, Occupational Safety and Health Act and state laws.
- You can ask employees if they have been vaccinated and you can ask for proof. This information, however, should still be considered confidential. Do not ask any follow-up questions (For example, should not ask about any symptoms/reactions the employee had to the vaccine.) You should remind the employee NOT to provide any other medical information.
- You can ask the employee for documentation from the vaccination source showing the date(s) the vaccine was administered. (Whether you should ask is better addressed by each individual employer/situation.) Any vaccination documentation provided should be kept confidential. You should also inform the employee that he/she does not have to provide any other additional medical or family history information.
Download this spreadsheet to help keep these records:
Philadelphia County is currently listed at a “Substantial” level of COVID-19 transmission, or 50 to 99.99 cases per 100,000 persons. The city has seen an increase in hospitalizations due to COVID-19 including among children. The CDC has created a county-level map that is updated daily. This map shows the rate of transmission over the preceding 7 days.
GBCA and its trade partners, including the Building Trades Council of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania & Vicinity and the Eastern Atlantic States Regional Council of Carpenters, strongly urge employers to monitor the CDC, OSHA, City of Philadelphia Department of Health, and the Pennsylvania Department of Health for guidance updates. We also created COVID-19 resources, including Recommended Job Site Safety Protocols and Recommended Response Protocols:
Contact us for assistance:
- Angela Hendrix, Director of Training & Workforce Development, GBCA
- Mark Lynch, Safety Director, IBEW98/Philadelphia Building Trades Council