Home care workers might be wearing masks a while longer, even though the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) gave fully vaccinated Americans the green light to stop wearing them indoors.
In a statement, the Home Care Association of America told McKnight’s Home Care Daily it isn’t “offering any guidance on (masks) at this time as regulations differ from state to state.”
Still, some home care companies surveyed by McKnight’s Home Care Daily said their employees are likely to keep wearing masks indefinitely.
“Most likely we will instruct aides to continue wearing masks,” said Lenny Verkhoglaz, president and CEO of Hackensack, NJ-based Executive Home Care. “Clients will demand they do as well. State governments may have the last word on this too.”
Parker Wells, co-founder of Santa Ana, CA-based Care to Stay Home, told McKnight’s Home Care Daily his care teams would continue wearing masks while working.
“We continue to support our efforts to promote vaccinations, practice social distancing, and we continue to evaluate the best practices to limit the exposure and potential spread of COVID-19,” Wells said.
The CDC last Thursday announced new mask guidance amid a sharp decline in coronavirus cases and the expansion of vaccine eligibility to anyone age 12 and older. The new guidance said fully vaccinated people can resume activities without wearing masks or physically distancing themselves, except where required by federal, state, tribal, territorial laws, rules and regulations by businesses and workplace guidance. Masks will still be required on public transportation.
Some states and local governments have kept mask mandates in place. New York, New Jersey and California are still requiring masks. While Minnesota repealed its mask mandate, Minneapolis and St. Paul are still requiring masks.
At the end of last week, 35% of Americans had been fully vaccinated and 71% of people 65 and older had gotten the vaccine.