SPRINGDALE, ARK. – Tyson Foods Inc. announced on Feb. 15 that it would be easing the mask mandates for workers at many facilities around the United States.

In a recent memo, Tom Brower, senior vice president of health and safety for Tyson Foods, stated that fully vaccinated employees can choose to remove their masks at work. Tyson noted that people can only remove masks when the change is announced at a certain location.

“Due to our many efforts, and most importantly, our enterprise-wide vaccinated status, we’ve seen lower rates of COVID-19 infection, as well as extremely low rates of serious illness at Tyson,” Brower said in the memo. “And in recent weeks the number of active cases at Tyson has declined significantly.”

Tyson stated that the removal of masks is conditioned on local and other applicable laws and USDA regulations, which do require mask use at certain facilities. 

“We respect the decision of those who want to continue to wear masks, and will continue to provide masks for their use,” Brower said. “We will also continue to review and may adjust guidelines around social distancing, testing, conference rooms, cafeterias and other measures to continue to ensure the health and safety of our fellow team members.”

The poultry producer added that it encourages and offers booster shots and has already hosted 100 clinics for employees to get boosted.

“Vaccination remains the best way for you to protect yourself and each other from the virus, and we encourage you to get a booster if you have not done so already,” Brower said.

During October 2021, Tyson announced that 96% of its workforce was vaccinated for COVID-19. The company previously stated that it would require all its 120,000 US-based workers to be vaccinated against COVID-19 by Nov. 1, 2021.