- Ariel H.
- Monday, January 24, 2022
Below you will find information and links pertaining to the mandated vaccine requirements for federal employees. In addition you will also see links to government platforms that go into more depth about the requirements for future visitors on federal grounds, employee exemptions, and COVID-19 workplace safety protocols.
updated: January 24, 2022
President’s Executive Order on Requiring Coronavirus Disease 2019 Vaccination for Federal Employees (Signed September 9, 2021). It requires COVID-19 vaccination for federal executive branch employees.
COVID-19 Workplace Safety: Agency Model Safety Principles (Updated September 13, 2021).
Mandatory Coronavirus Disease 2019 Vaccination for Federal Employees.
Each agency shall implement, to the extent consistent with applicable law, a program to require COVID-19 vaccination for all of its Federal employees, with exceptions only as required by law. The Task Force shall issue guidance within 7 days of the date of this order on agency implementation of this requirement for all agencies covered by this order.
Additional details can be found in link above in section 2 of the Executive Order on Requiring Covid-19 for Federal Employees
Exceptions to the Vaccine Requirement for Employees
Federal employees must be fully vaccinated other than in limited circumstances where the law requires USDA to provide an accommodation to an employee who cannot be vaccinated against COVID-19 because of a medical condition or because of a sincerely held religious belief, practice, or observance. Employees may request a medical or religious accommodation.
Employees who wish to request an exception to this requirement for medical reasons should submit a request for a reasonable accommodation to their Reasonable Accommodation Coordinator. Here is a link to the Reasonable Accommodation Coordinators.
Employees who wish to request an exception to this requirement due to a sincerely held religious belief, practice or observance should submit their request for a religious accommodation to their Religious Accommodation Coordinator. Here is a link to the Religious Accommodation Coordinators, which includes a religious accommodation request form. Requests must be in writing but there is no requirement to use a particular form or format. Employees who do not answer all the questions on the provided form are not disqualified from requesting a religious accommodation. However, employees should provide sufficient information to support their requested accommodation. Failure to provide sufficient information may lead to a decision-maker denying the request.
Vaccination Status for Visitors and Customers
A visitor is defined as anyone who is not a USDA employee or a contractor and includes categories such as: volunteers, retirees, people with appointments with the agency, and stakeholders. Visitors should complete the Certification of Vaccination form in advance or complete in paper copy upon arrival. USDA facilities are be instructed to make paper copies of the blank certification of vaccination form available at building entrances, as appropriate.
Visitors are expected to complete the Certification of Vaccination form and email it in advance to their USDA point of contact or be prepared to show it upon entry. If a visitor is unable to complete the form in advance, a copy will be available at the building entrances and must be completed and submitted to your USDA point of contact upon entry. In the NCR, building security will verbally ask screening questions to visitors however, it is the responsibility of the host agency (including in multi-tenant buildings) to collect all verification of vaccination forms and visually confirm test results, as appropriate, and ensure it is following the appropriate COVID safety protocols. Agencies should do this in a way that makes the most sense for them. In co-located facilities, agencies are required to harmonize on how they are checking the information and ensure compliance with appropriate COVID safety protocols.
Visitors who are not fully vaccinated or who decline to provide information about their vaccination status will also be required provide proof of a negative COVID-19 test from no later than the previous 3 days which must be presented upon arrival to your host and not emailed in advance.
If a customer refuses to comply with USDA’s safety protocols, USDA employees can considerately make customers aware of the masking requirement. Customers who do not honor USDA’s requirement should be asked, politely, to do so. If the customer refuses, that is the individual’s right, but they must be directed to conduct business off-site (over the phone or online) and to please depart the premises. USDA employees should remain respectful yet safe and call for assistance from local authorities if the situation cannot be resolved.
All travelers, including fully vaccinated Federal employees, should continue to take health and safety precautions.
CDC COVID-19 prevention measures continue to apply to all travelers, including those who are vaccinated. All travelers are required to wear a mask over their nose and mouth on all planes, buses, trains, and other forms of public transportation traveling into, within, or out of the United States and in U.S. transportation hubs such as airports and stations.
Federal employees who are fully vaccinated do not need to get tested before or after domestic travel or self-quarantine after travel unless required by their destination.
However, all air passengers coming to the United States from abroad, including Federal employees who are fully vaccinated, are required to have a negative SARS-CoV-2 viral test result 01/14/22 17 no more than three days before the flight to the United States departs or must show documentation of recovery from COVID-19 within the previous 90 days before they board a flight to the United States.
Fully vaccinated travelers are advised by the agency that they should also, after traveling abroad, get tested with a viral test 5-7 days after traveling; self-monitor for COVID-19 symptoms; if symptoms develop, isolate, and get tested; and follow all recommendations or requirements of their local U.S. destination after travel.
The cost of testing for current infection with SARS-CoV-2, required for official travel and not available through a Federal dispensary or not covered (or reimbursable) through travel insurance, can be claimed in a travel voucher as a Miscellaneous Expense under agency travel policies.
For employees who need to quarantine after work-related travel, administrative leave or weather/safety leave may be provided.
With the Coronavirus (COVID-19) currently impacting the U.S., we've compiled a list of resources and information to help you and your family stay informed. For additional COVID-19 resources and information, click here.
For general COVID information via phone, call:
-- DHEC Care Line (General COVID Information) 855-472-3432
-- CDC Info (General COVID Information) 800-232-4636
-- Richland County Health Department 855-472-3432