Question:My HERO Act protocols include universal masking inside our animal hospital as well as staggering client appointments, reducing the number of staff working in close proximity in certain areas of the building and offering curbside care,as well as other provisions. These measures are impacting the number of clients we see in a day and therefore our bottom line. Is the HERO Act mandate still in place and if the provisions for safety under the HERO Act in my facility are more stringent than the masking options just rolled out, do I have the option for the vaccine only/no mask required if all my staff and clients have proof of full Covid vaccination?Answer:Yes, the mandate to implement HERO Act policies remains in effect. The new mask mandate is in addition to existing requirements under the HERO Act. The HERO Act requires that all employees wear a mask at worksites with a mix of vaccinated and unvaccinated employees, but does not require masks at fully vaccinated worksites. This new mandate goes a step further-if a business does not require "proof of vaccination as a condition of entry," all individuals must wear a mask. But, if proof of vaccination is required as a condition of entry, then no masks are required under both the HERO Act and the new mandate. Your members should be sure that their actual practice (either masking or requiring proof of vaccination) conform with the actual HERO Act policy that they have adopted.