Last week, the UFCW welcomed a new Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) mask policy recommending that vaccinated and unvaccinated Americans resume wearing masks indoors and called for a national mask mandate.
The new CDC recommendation, which is for vaccinated and unvaccinated Americans in high-transmission states and those who have vulnerable people in their household, such as young children and those who are immunocompromised, comes amid a new explosion of COVID-19 infections from the Delta variant. A new report shows that COVID-19 cases in the U.S. have more than doubled in the past two weeks and nearly two-thirds of U.S. counties now have elevated COVID-19 transmission.
“Today’s new CDC mask policy is a critical step that sounds the alarm about the explosion in COVID Delta cases and makes clear that wearing masks indoors is critical to stopping the spread of this deadly virus,” said UFCW International President Marc Perrone in a statement. “But the reality is that the CDC recommendation does not go far enough. A national mask mandate is the only way we can finally take control of this virus and every retail CEO in the country must recognize that now is the time for all of us to mask up so we can keep our economy open and communities safe.”
“With COVID cases continuing to surge, essential workers have been forced to play vaccination police because of the confusing patchwork of state and local mask policies,” Perrone added. “Urgent action is needed from states and retailers to strengthen COVID safety enforcement so the burden doesn’t fall on the shoulders or essential workers already stretched thin. As America’s largest union for essential retail and grocery workers, the UFCW is calling on the CDC as well as elected and business leaders to do much more to strengthen COVID safety measures and remove the barriers to vaccine access leaving so many essential workers unprotected as we confront this new surge. American lives are on the line and failure to act is not an option.”