March 9, 2022

Lab Mask Requirements Changing Immediately

Dear Colleagues,

DOE has approved the implementation of new masking guidance, provided by the Safer Federal Workforce TaskForce, for the national labs. We are pleased to announce that effective immediately, the following changes are being made to our COVID protocols on all Berkeley Lab sites:

  • Indoor masks are voluntary for all people regardless of their COVID vaccination status (vaccinated and unvaccinated).

  • Per University of California policy, masks are still required indoors for those who are not vaccinated against influenza until April 30.

  • Masks are still required on Lab shuttles and in Health Care settings, including Lab Health Services (Building 26).

  • Many in our community will want to continue to wear masks indoors; please be supportive of individuals’ decisions to wear or not wear a mask.

  • COVID testing on our sites will continue to be available and voluntary for all Protocol A employees and mandatory for Protocol B employees.

  • All employees must continue to fill out the symptom check every week and not come to a Lab site if they are experiencing any COVID symptoms.

  • COVID vaccination and booster reporting through the Occupational Health Record is required for all Lab employees under UC policy.

DOE’s guidance is based on the new CDC COVID-19 Community Levels Tracking website, which aligns masking and screening requirements with community COVID hospitalization and case rates. Alameda County is currently at a medium community COVID level. We will continue to monitor changes in our community COVID-19 case and hospitalization rates. Should our local COVID-19 levels or our local, state, or federal guidance change, the Laboratory may increase our COVID safety measures to maintain a safe workplace for all of our employees and visitors.

Best regards,

Mike Witherell

Laboratory Director

Carol Burns

Deputy Lab Director for Research and CRO

Michael Brandt

Deputy Lab Director for Operations and COO