Communicating Your Organization’s Mask Policy

Redwoods recommends that your organization either require masks for all indoor activities or allow people to go maskless, but ask specifically about vaccine status. This is meant to protect all individuals in your care—especially vulnerable populations. This includes those not yet vaccinated, unable to be vaccinated, or those who choose not to be vaccinated.

Responding to an Individual about their Vaccine Status
If you choose the route of asking all members and guests about their vaccine status, it’s important to note that it’s okay for staff to ask if someone is vaccinated, but cannot provide their opinion or ask follow-up questions. Below is an appropriate sample response for your staff:

“Thank you for letting us know. As a matter of policy, and in an effort to protect those who are still vulnerable to infection, we are requiring folks who are not fully vaccinated to wear a mask at all times while in the facility—including when working out.”

Responding to Negative Reactions to your Mask Policy
We know, of course, that any change in CDC guidance creates uncertainty, and it creates questions. It can also influence the attitudes and expectations of the communities you serve, sometimes negatively. Below is a sample response that your staff can use when responding to a negative reaction. We’ve also included a few tips when responding to confrontation, as we know one sample response isn’t the silver bullet.

“We understand that CDC guidance has changed, and different businesses and organizations are making different decisions. However, safety is central to our mission, and our policy is intended to protect those who are not yet fully vaccinated.”

  • Lead with empathy instead of confrontation
  • Listen to understand
  • Explain the policy and how it ties to your organization’s mission
  • If it escalates, bring to a manager on duty