General Motors has decided to keep certain COVID-19 safety protocols in place at its various U.S. assembly plants out of an “abundance of caution,” the automaker said in a letter released Wednesday.
The statement was released by the COVID-19 Joint Task Force, which consists of GM, Ford, Stellantis and the United Auto Workers union. In the letter, the task force said it had reviewed reports from health and medical experts and decided it would be best to continue enforcing most COVID-19 workplace protocols it set in place last year.
“The COVID-19 Task Force met Tuesday, June 8 and reviewed the reports of medical experts, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) guidelines and Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) standards to maintain safety and uniformity as the companies continue to work through the pandemic,” the statement said.
“For the time being, the wearing of masks and safety glasses as well as social distancing and hand washing will continue out of an abundance of caution.”
While certain COVID-19 safety measures are set to stay in place, the task force agreed to cease certain safety measures going forward. Monitored temperature screening upon facility entry “is expected to be phased out,” the task force said, along with “other minor adjustments to entry and exit procedures.” Workers will still be required to sanitize their workstations before clocking out.
The UAW said previously it would not require union members to be vaccinated, although it is actively encouraging assembly line workers to receive a jab.
“While the UAW and the companies continue following the protocols that have kept our workplaces safe, we know that one of the best ways to fight this virus is by getting vaccinated,” the statement also said. “The Task Force continues to encourage everyone to roll up their sleeve and get vaccinated against COVID-19 so that we can protect our sisters and brothers and their families.”
In May, the Center for Disease Control (CDC) said fully vaccinated people no longer need to wear a face mask or stay six-feet away from others in most settings, including when indoors.