City requires employees to mask; requests visitors do the same

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This administrative order will remain in effect through Oct. 14 or until such time that Kent County is no longer classified in the "substantial" risk category or higher by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Courtesy city of Grand Rapids

In response to the recent rise in prevalence of the delta variant of the coronavirus in Kent County, the city of Grand Rapids is again requiring its workforce to mask indoors.

City Manager Mark Washington signed an administrative order that began Wednesday requiring employee masking in the workplace where work is indoors and remaining 6 feet apart is not possible. This requirement includes both vaccinated and unvaccinated employees, as available data shows transmissibility from vaccinated individuals to others, regardless of whether the individual is symptomatic.

In addition, all staff attending meetings open to the public are required to wear protective face coverings. Community members attending meetings or visiting city buildings will be requested to do the same and will be provided masks, if needed.

City employees may request that an individual wear a mask when receiving service or ask unmasked individuals to move to an appropriate space where distancing is possible.

“Data indicates that well over 90% of recent COVID-19 cases that require hospitalization are among those who have not been vaccinated,” Washington said. “Our primary concern is with the health and safety of our employees and those we serve. We continue to encourage vaccination among the workforce as the single best protective measure to ensure this is possible.”

This administrative order will remain in effect through Oct. 14 or until such time that Kent County is no longer classified in the “substantial” risk category or higher by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

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