Mask mandates are making a comeback as Lionsgate’s California office implements them for nearly half of its employees as a new COVID variant circulates in the media.

According to a memo sent to employees on Monday, Response Manager for Lionsgate/Starz, Sommer McElroy, stated that masks will be required on certain floors in their Santa Monica offices “effective immediately” and “until further notice.”

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Several Lionsgate employees tested positive for COVID-19, resulting in the decision to bring back the face masks, however, only the 3rd and 5th floors of the five-story building will be required to wear them.

“Employees must wear a medical grade face covering (surgical mask, KN95 or N95) when indoors except when alone in an office with the door closed, actively eating, actively drinking at their desk or workstation, or if they are the only individual present in a large open workspace,” McElroy said in the memo.

The company will also be conducting contact tracing and providing at-home Covid test kits upon request. Surgical masks and KN95s will also be made available at the front desk while N95s are available upon request.

Fox News contributor Dr. Nicole Saphier criticized the return of flimsy mask mandates stating, “Anyone who is immunocompromised, or if you work with people who are immunocompromised, those are the people in appropriate settings [that] should consider wearing a high-quality mask, like an N-95, not a single layer of cloth or surgical mask,” she told the panel.

She added: “Those don’t actually work as we’ve seen by many, many studies. But to actually say, you know, to wear masks again in the house and just being in public spaces, we have to move on.”

According to Yahoo!, employees must also alert McElroy and stay home if they are exhibiting any symptoms within the last 24 hours or have traveled overseas over the last 10 days.

Many Hollywood work environments relaxed the mandate for Covid last May, with Lionsgate announcing its office structure of staff being in the office four days out of the week with a work-from-home schedule on Fridays ending the workday at 1 pm.

This mask mandate from Lionsgate could be an example followed by other entertainment companies in the near future.

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