The Los Alamos National Laboratory again ordered employees and visitors to wear masks to prevent the spread of COVID-19 after transmission rates in the area rose, according to an internal lab message.

“COVID-19 community levels have moved to high in Los Alamos and Santa Fe Counties,” reads the message, the text of which sister publication the Exchange Monitor

read. “In accordance with CDC [Centers for Disease Control and Prevention] guidance, masks will be required on-site at Laboratory locations in both places starting Tuesday, Nov. 15.”

The note also said that “[m]anagers should be prepared to work with all employees to ensure masks are worn in accordance with policy guidelines.”

The Department of Energy requires people at its sites to wear masks if the CDC records high community transmission levels of COVID-19. The CDC’s metric considers the percentages of new COVID-related hospital admissions and staffed hospital beds occupied by COVID patients based on the weekly average number of new COVID cases for every 100,000 people in a given county or municipality.

Los Alamos National Laboratory management and operations contractor Triad National Security has self-reported a COVID-19 vaccination rate of greater than 95% for its employees. The figure does not account for subcontractors and construction workers on site.