Ford Reintroducing Mask Requirements in Three States

Matt Posky
by Matt Posky
ford reintroducing mask requirements in three states

For the last several nights it’s been impossible to turn on a screen and not encounter some besuited mouthpiece telling you that face coverings and social distancing will be the peak of fashion by this fall. In the real world, we’ve seen this mirrored by governments and businesses reinstituting COVID restrictions. General Motors even got out early and decided (with encouragement from the UAW) to bring back masking in Missouri.

Now it’s Ford’s turn.

Having previously revived masking rules for its facilities in two states, the Blue Oval informed its Kentucky workforce that it will likewise be subject to restrictions on Thursday. According to Automotive News, the rules won’t go into effect for Kentucky Truck and Louisville Assembly until Sunday.

Rules appear to be the same as the ones lifted by all of the Big Three on July 12th. Ford’s stated reasoning is identical to what was provided earlier in the week, when it announced restrictions for Missouri and Florida. It’s worried about elevated infection figures and the Delta variant getting line workers sick. But while the Show-Me State yields Ford’s Kansas City Assembly Plant, Florida only has some parts warehouses/shipping hubs. Restrictions pertain to everyone, including those who have been fully vaccinated.

From AN:

A Ford spokeswoman reiterated a statement issued Tuesday that the automaker could make additional changes as necessary based on data. The delta variant of the virus that causes COVID-19 continues to spread in various areas throughout the U.S.

Also this week, Ford said it will require U.S. employees to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 before any international business travel, based on recommendations by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

But Ford’s initial decisions were actually made shortly before the CDC updated guidance that vaccinated people begin wearing masks again, with the same being true for General Motors. But the UAW had been in discussions with medical experts and the companies all year to decide what protocols would be ideal for individual worksites. They clearly played a factor in GM’s decision to return to masking and likely had a hand in encouraging Ford to do likewise.

Stellantis has kept relatively quiet about the matter but GM and Ford have said they plan on keeping CDC guidance at the front of their mind when determining future safety protocols. While we haven’t been able to take the temperature of any automotive employees on the updated factory rules, several expressed mixed feelings on masking at the end of June. Employee compliance was also said to be getting lax, making us wonder if workers (or employers) will even bother adhering to masking mandates with any seriousness this late in the game. After all, the original “two weeks to flatten the curve” has lasted roughly five hundred days and we’re seeing fewer and fewer covered faces out there.

[Image: Miljan Zivkovic/Shutterstock]

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  • El scotto El scotto on Aug 01, 2021

    I can see it getting to the point that ALL federal employees have to get vaccinated or tested on a weekly basis. After a few tests, I would think that the anti-vaxxers would willingly get vaccinated. But wait, there's more! I'm sure the tin foil hat crowd would insist that government is secretly inserting mind control chips during Covid testing.

    • See 2 previous
    • Mcs Mcs on Aug 02, 2021

      @slavuta "because they were developed under Trump’s administration" Actually, they were not developed under the trump administration. mRNA vaccines have been under development and testing has been in progress since the early 1990's. Under development and tested for 30 years.

  • Art Vandelay Art Vandelay on Aug 02, 2021

    So many fncking cheese d!cks in this thread. Anyway, I hope the current group of sh!+heads in office are held to the same standard as the last group of sh!+heads. So far we've gotten a plan that seemed to hope for the best and rely on idiots to practice sound logic. This is frankly no better than the last dude's plan. Guess I'll work through this shutdown too. Hopefully it is equally lucrative

  • Oberkanone Does GM build anything to compete with this? Does GM build any competent hybrids?
  • Dukeisduke So, it'll be invisible, just like all other Gen 6 Camaros?
  • Alterboy21 The gov't has already mandated control of your vehicle. 10 years ago they required cars to have ABS and traction control.I am not sure I agree that automatic breaking is ready for primetime, but taking control of a cars driving behavior is not new ground for the NHTSA. 
  • Parkave231 Collector's Edition hood ornament or GTFO.
  • Dave M. Once again Mustang remains solely on the throne. But obviously the day of the ponycar has long passed....