Mask mandate issued for all federal property

January 22, 2021

Land Line Staff


In one of his first moves after taking the oath of office, President Joe Biden signed an executive order mandating the wearing of face masks on federal property.

The order, which was signed Wednesday, Jan. 20, requires “on-duty or on-site federal employees, on-site federal contractors, and other individuals in federal buildings and on federal lands should all wear masks, maintain physical distance, and adhere to other public health measures, as provided in CDC guidelines.”

For purposes of the order, federal employees and contractors are defined as employees (including members of the military) and contractors (including such contractors’ employees) working for the executive branch. “Federal buildings” means “buildings, or office space within buildings, owned, rented, or leased by the executive branch of which a substantial portion of occupants are Federal employees or federal contractors. “Federal lands” means lands under executive branch control.

Doug Morris, OOIDA’s security operations director, says the order will remain in effect for the foreseeable future.

Listen to Land Line Now

IV. Face masks required? We’ll clear it all up

On the Thursday, Jan. 21 episode of “Land Line Now” Morris says some drivers have called the Association asking if the new order means they’ll have to wear a mask on the highways, but that’s not the case.

“If you’re hauling a DOD load to a military base, they’ll have signs (requiring mask use),” he said. “If you check in at the guard shack, they’ll probably tell you, ‘Hey put your mask on, or you’ll be refused entry.’”

The executive order does not specify any enforcement or citation issues. Morris says drivers also need to be aware of any state, county or local ordinances and to comply with those as well.

Safer Federal Workforce Task Force.

Biden’s executive order also establishes a new task force to provide ongoing guidance to the federal government with respect to employee safety and continuity of government functions during the COVID-19 pandemic, using public health best practices as determined by the Centers for Disease Control and other public health experts.

The Safer Federal Workforce Task Force will make recommendations and guidance on testing methods and protocols, contract tracing, physical distance requirements, contact tracing and vaccine prioritization, distribution and administration, as part of its mission. LL