National Public Radio now has a hotline for employees to report fellow workers for not adhering to the company’s COVID-19 mask policy.
“We have asked on-site supervisors to remind staff of the masking requirements when needed,” an internal NPR memo, published on Twitter by Puck News founder Dylan Byers said Friday. “Masking is still required, unless recording alone in a studio, working alone in an office with the door closed, or actively eating or drinking.”
The memo further gives advice on approaching fellow employees who are not following the policy in a nonconfrontational manner, and then gives workers an HR phone number to call to report policy violations.
“Please note that failure to comply with our masking requirement may lead to disciplinary action, up to and including termination,” the memo concludes.
According to a story in the Daily Mail on Friday, the rules are being enforced at the publicly funded organization’s headquarters in Washington, D.C., as well as other offices throughout the country although there are currently no states enforcing indoor mask mandates.
The Mail said it reached out to NPR but was not able to confirm the authenticity of the memo.
The move by NPR comes as new COVID-19 cases are rising, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
The CDC reports that the seven-day rolling average of cases has increased from 25,535 on April 1 to 101,029 on May 19.
During the same period, hospital admissions increased from a rate of 0.45 per 100,000 people to 1 per 100,000, consisting mainly of patients ages 70 and above, according to the agency.
The rolling daily average of deaths, however, has decreased during the period from 592 to 242, according to the data.
On Thursday, the agency “strengthened” its recommendations for giving children and immunocompromised people vaccine booster shots and expanded the eligibility for children between 5-11 years old to get the additional shots.
“Today, I endorsed ACIP’s vote to expand eligibility for COVID-19 vaccine booster doses. Children 5 through 11 should receive a booster dose at least 5 months after their primary series. Vaccination with a primary series among this age group has lagged behind other age groups leaving them vulnerable to serious illness,” CDC Director Dr. Rochelle Walensky said in the announcement.
“With over 18 million doses administered in this age group, we know that these vaccines are safe, and we must continue to increase the number of children who are protected.
"I encourage parents to keep their children up to date with CDC’s COVID-19 vaccine recommendations. With cases increasing, it is important that all people have the protection they need, which is why, today, CDC has also strengthened another booster recommendation. Those 50 and older and those who are 12 and older and immunocompromised should get a second booster dose.”
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