GM has reinstated mask mandates for employees at certain facilities in southeastern Michigan due to rising COVID-19 cases in the area.
According to Reuters, mask mandates have been put back in place at GM facilities in the Michigan counties of Oakland, Wayne, Livingston and Macomb. This includes the GM Factory Zero plant in Detroit-Hamtramck, as well as the GM Orion plant in Lake Orion and GM Romulus plant, among others.
GM and the UAW dropped their mask mandate for all individuals regardless of vaccination status in March, but reserved the right to reinstate the mandate in high-risk areas. Six southeastern Michigan counties have been determined to have high levels of COVID-19 at the moment, including Wayne, Oakland, Livingston Macomb and Washtenaw.
UAW members do not need to be vaccinated against COVID-19, although the union has encouraged vaccination among its members in the past.
“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,” the union said last summer.
The UAW said over the weekend that facilities located in high-risk counties as identified by the CDC will require both masking and physical distancing guidelines to be put in place. This would mean GM facilities in these areas would also need to implement physical distancing measures in addition to facemask requirements in order to adhere to safety protocol.
“Since the early days of the pandemic, our COVID-19 Joint Task Force (which includes UAW, Ford, General Motors and Stellantis) has met to regularly discuss COVID-19 protocols and procedures,” UAW spokeswoman Sandra Engle said in a statement provided to The Detroit News. “If a facility is located in high-risk counties as identified by the CDC, they will require masking and physical distancing. Current changes to masking rules at some locations are a result of this policy.”
GM’s production output is not expected to be impacted by the rising COVID-19 case levels in Michigan for the time being.