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在室内到底要不要戴口罩?美国企业想不明白

在室内到底要不要戴口罩?美国企业想不明白

Sy Muhkerjee 2021年08月01日
由于联邦、州和地方对室内戴口罩的态度不仅大相径庭,而且不断变化,让美国企业陷入困惑。

美国疾病控制与预防中心(CDC)再次改变了它对完全接种新冠疫苗的美国人在室内戴口罩的指导意见。此举似乎很突然,但考虑到过去一个月美国新感染病例激增,这种转变其实只是时间问题。疾控中心现在建议居住在新冠病例激增地区(特别是德尔塔变异毒株肆虐的地区)的美国人在商店、餐厅、电影院等公共室内场所佩戴口罩,即使他们已经接种了两剂辉瑞(Pfizer)、Moderna疫苗或一针强生(Johnson & Johnson)疫苗。

这意味着,由于联邦、州和地方对室内戴口罩的态度不仅大相径庭,而且不断变化,原本就摇摆不定的美国大小企业在如何维护公共安全方面陷入了又一轮困惑。其中许多企业已经放松了对室内戴口罩的要求。

在其更新的指导意见中,疾控中心还效仿美国儿科学会(AAP)的做法——该学会最近建议所有学生在今年秋天重返校园时在室内戴口罩——建议无论是否接种疫苗,无论学校周围社区的感染病例是否激增,全体师生、学校工作人员和造访者都应该佩戴口罩。而就在几个月前,疾控中心表示,一旦接种疫苗,停止严格的室内戴口罩要求,大体上是安全的。

“德尔塔变异毒株每天都在显示,它想变得比我们更聪明。”疾控中心主任罗谢尔·瓦伦斯基在宣布新建议的新闻发布会上说,“这不是我们疾控中心轻易做出的决定。”

困扰企业的问题是,疾控中心的建议并没有充分的法律效力,也缺乏足够的执行机制。现在仍然要由州和地方政府来出台明确的法律要求。即使如此,一些地方的执法人员可能不打算惩处违规行为。这很容易导致企业采取见机行事的态度,一边等待政府行动,一边试探执法措施可能有多严格(以及企业自身想要多严格)。

对于学校以外的场所,美国疾控中心建议在每10万居民中一周新增病例超过50例的县,所有居民都应在室内佩戴口罩。这包括46%正在竭力应对高水平社区传播的县,以及17%正在经历高水平传播的县。例如,在科罗拉多州,64个县中有38个(即59%的县)达到了疾控中心确定的病例激增阈值。

据美国退休人员协会(AARP)统计,截至7月28日,有8个州——加利福尼亚、康涅狄格、夏威夷、伊利诺伊、内华达、新墨西哥、纽约和华盛顿——以及波多黎各和哥伦比亚特区实施了室内戴口罩规定。然而,只有夏威夷和内华达州要求,即使完全接种的美国人也要在公共室内场所戴口罩。内华达州的要求原定于7月30日失效,在疾控中心宣布新指导意见之后,该州恢复了一项全面的口罩强制令。

甚至在疾控中心发布新指导意见之前,多个州的地方政府就采取了这项政策,其中包括加州的洛杉矶县和密苏里州的圣路易斯县。在位于马萨诸塞州科德角地区的度假胜地普罗温斯敦,由于7月4日美国独立日假期结束后,新冠感染病例迅速激增,官员们在周末召开紧急会议,恢复了室内戴口罩规定。但即使在那些勉强接受重新回归的室内戴口罩要求的地区,当地零售和小商店老板也可能被迫经历尴尬的对峙场面——许多顾客已经对口罩心生厌倦,尤其是在刚刚体验了宽松的防疫要求之后。

那些大公司呢?苹果(Apple)已经改变了此前的立场,即完全接种疫苗的顾客和员工不必在零售店内戴口罩。该公司现在要求在病例不断增加的地区必须戴口罩。但在疾控中心发布新指导意见之后,美国许多最大的连锁店仍然保持沉默,特别是那些已经放松了对入店顾客防疫要求的大型零售商,其中包括沃尔玛(Walmart)、好市多(Costco)和塔吉特(Target)。

这些公司(以及它们开展业务的州和地方)的应对计划将在未来几周变得更加清晰。但可以肯定的是,不断演变的新冠疫情乱局再次让各级政府和广大企业主背负上了沉甸甸的责任。随着秋季流感季日益迫近,他们必须想方设法地平息一场由德尔塔变异毒株驱动,很可能极具破坏性的感染浪潮。(财富中文网)

译者:任文科

美国疾病控制与预防中心(CDC)再次改变了它对完全接种新冠疫苗的美国人在室内戴口罩的指导意见。此举似乎很突然,但考虑到过去一个月美国新感染病例激增,这种转变其实只是时间问题。疾控中心现在建议居住在新冠病例激增地区(特别是德尔塔变异毒株肆虐的地区)的美国人在商店、餐厅、电影院等公共室内场所佩戴口罩,即使他们已经接种了两剂辉瑞(Pfizer)、Moderna疫苗或一针强生(Johnson & Johnson)疫苗。

这意味着,由于联邦、州和地方对室内戴口罩的态度不仅大相径庭,而且不断变化,原本就摇摆不定的美国大小企业在如何维护公共安全方面陷入了又一轮困惑。其中许多企业已经放松了对室内戴口罩的要求。

在其更新的指导意见中,疾控中心还效仿美国儿科学会(AAP)的做法——该学会最近建议所有学生在今年秋天重返校园时在室内戴口罩——建议无论是否接种疫苗,无论学校周围社区的感染病例是否激增,全体师生、学校工作人员和造访者都应该佩戴口罩。而就在几个月前,疾控中心表示,一旦接种疫苗,停止严格的室内戴口罩要求,大体上是安全的。

“德尔塔变异毒株每天都在显示,它想变得比我们更聪明。”疾控中心主任罗谢尔·瓦伦斯基在宣布新建议的新闻发布会上说,“这不是我们疾控中心轻易做出的决定。”

困扰企业的问题是,疾控中心的建议并没有充分的法律效力,也缺乏足够的执行机制。现在仍然要由州和地方政府来出台明确的法律要求。即使如此,一些地方的执法人员可能不打算惩处违规行为。这很容易导致企业采取见机行事的态度,一边等待政府行动,一边试探执法措施可能有多严格(以及企业自身想要多严格)。

对于学校以外的场所,美国疾控中心建议在每10万居民中一周新增病例超过50例的县,所有居民都应在室内佩戴口罩。这包括46%正在竭力应对高水平社区传播的县,以及17%正在经历高水平传播的县。例如,在科罗拉多州,64个县中有38个(即59%的县)达到了疾控中心确定的病例激增阈值。

据美国退休人员协会(AARP)统计,截至7月28日,有8个州——加利福尼亚、康涅狄格、夏威夷、伊利诺伊、内华达、新墨西哥、纽约和华盛顿——以及波多黎各和哥伦比亚特区实施了室内戴口罩规定。然而,只有夏威夷和内华达州要求,即使完全接种的美国人也要在公共室内场所戴口罩。内华达州的要求原定于7月30日失效,在疾控中心宣布新指导意见之后,该州恢复了一项全面的口罩强制令。

甚至在疾控中心发布新指导意见之前,多个州的地方政府就采取了这项政策,其中包括加州的洛杉矶县和密苏里州的圣路易斯县。在位于马萨诸塞州科德角地区的度假胜地普罗温斯敦,由于7月4日美国独立日假期结束后,新冠感染病例迅速激增,官员们在周末召开紧急会议,恢复了室内戴口罩规定。但即使在那些勉强接受重新回归的室内戴口罩要求的地区,当地零售和小商店老板也可能被迫经历尴尬的对峙场面——许多顾客已经对口罩心生厌倦,尤其是在刚刚体验了宽松的防疫要求之后。

那些大公司呢?苹果(Apple)已经改变了此前的立场,即完全接种疫苗的顾客和员工不必在零售店内戴口罩。该公司现在要求在病例不断增加的地区必须戴口罩。但在疾控中心发布新指导意见之后,美国许多最大的连锁店仍然保持沉默,特别是那些已经放松了对入店顾客防疫要求的大型零售商,其中包括沃尔玛(Walmart)、好市多(Costco)和塔吉特(Target)。

这些公司(以及它们开展业务的州和地方)的应对计划将在未来几周变得更加清晰。但可以肯定的是,不断演变的新冠疫情乱局再次让各级政府和广大企业主背负上了沉甸甸的责任。随着秋季流感季日益迫近,他们必须想方设法地平息一场由德尔塔变异毒株驱动,很可能极具破坏性的感染浪潮。(财富中文网)

译者:任文科

The Centers for Disease Control's (CDC's) seemingly abrupt shift on indoor masking guidance for Americans who are fully vaccinated against COVID was really just a matter of time, given the groundswell of new U.S. cases over the past month. The CDC now recommends that people who live in areas where COVID cases are surging (especially due to the alarming rise of the Delta variant) wear masks in public indoor settings such as stores, restaurants, movie theaters, and other such venues even if they've already received two doses of the Pfizer or Moderna vaccines or a shot of Johnson & Johnson's coronavirus jab.

And that means American businesses large and small alike which have already whipsawed between wildly divergent and ever-shifting federal, state, and local guidance on indoor masking are in for another round of confusion on how to maintain public safety after many of them had already loosened their indoor mask requirements.

In its updated guidance mere months after indicating it was for the most part safe to stop strictly masking indoors once vaccinated, the CDC also followed the lead of the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) — which recently recommended that all students wear masks indoors when returning to school this fall — by suggesting that everyone from teachers to students to visitors and staff at schools should be required to wear masks regardless of vaccination status and irrespective of whether or not cases are surging in that school's surrounding community.

“The Delta variant is showing every day its willingness to outsmart us,” CDC director Rochelle Walensky said at a news briefing announcing the new recommendations. “This is not a decision we at CDC have made lightly.”

The trouble for businesses is that the CDC's recommendations don't have the full force of the law or an enforcement mechanism. It's still up to state and local governments to dictate what the exact legal requirements are for masking, and even then some locales may have law enforcement officials who don't plan on doling out repercussions for a failure to comply. That could easily lead to businesses simply playing things by ear as they wait for government action and feel out how strict enforcement measures might be (and how strict the businesses themselves want to be).

The CDC guidance outside of school settings recommends that all Americans wear masks in indoor settings in counties where there are more than 50 new COVID cases per 100,000 residents in a week. That encompasses some 46% of all U.S. counties that are grappling with high levels of community transmission and another 17% that are experiencing a substantial level of transmission. In Colorado, for instance, 38 out of 64, or 59%, of all counties meet the CDC's threshold for a surge in cases.

As of July 28, eight U.S. states—California, Connecticut, Hawaii, Illinois, Nevada, New Mexico, New York, and Washington—plus Puerto Rico and the District of Columbia have indoor mask mandates in place, according to the AARP. However, only Hawaii and Nevada require even fully vaccinated Americans to mask in public indoor settings, and Nevada's requirement was set to lapse on July 30 before the state reinstated a blanket mandate following the CDC announcement.

Locales in multiple states had taken it upon themselves to adopt the CDC's new guidance even before it was released, including Los Angeles County in California and Missouri's St. Louis County. Officials in Provincetown of Massachusetts' Cape Cod region held an emergency meeting over the weekend and reinstated its indoor mask mandate after a rapid surge of COVID cases following the 4th of July holiday. But even in regions that are begrudgingly accepting a return to indoor masking, local retail and small store owners may be forced to have awkward confrontations with people who are simply sick of masks, especially after a small taste of laxer protocols.

As for larger firms? Apple has already reversed its earlier position that fully vaccinated customers and employees don't have to wear masks in retail stores and is now requiring masks in areas with a growing case count. But many of the nation's largest chains are still mum on what they plan to do with the CDC's new guidance, especially big retailers that had loosened their in-store safety requirements for customers. That includes the likes of Walmart, Costco, and Target.

What these companies — and the states and locales in which they operate — plan to do will become clearer in the coming weeks. But what's certain is the chaotic dynamism of the COVID pandemic is once again heaping a lot of responsibility onto the backs of individual governments and business owners to quell what could become a devastating wave of Delta variant-driven COVID cases heading into the fall flu season.

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