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The response manager for Lionsgate/Starz, Sommer McElroy, said in a written statement that the masking policy would be “effective immediately” and will continue “until further notice.” Deadline reported that almost half of the company’s employees work at their flagship office at 2700 Colorado Avenue. The policy will be effective on the 3rd and 5th floors of the five-story building, according to an email cited by the outlet.
“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, per Fox News.
Lionsgate will also have a “building entry policy” which requires employees “to perform a daily self-screening prior to coming to the office each day.” Workers must also notify the company of any “new or worsening symptoms” or if they “traveled internationally in the last 10 days.”
The company will perform contact tracing and notify “all individuals who have been in close contact with employees who have tested positive for COVID-19,” the statement continued. She said these mandates come as several employees tested positive for COVID.
McElroy also said surgical masks and KN95s would be available at the front desk. The studio will also provide N95 masks upon request.
The decision to reinstate mask mandates at Lionsgate comes as speculation that similar policies would be returning nationwide as variant EG.5 becomes more prevalent in the United States.
There have been conflicting studies and no conclusive evidence that mask mandates ever did much to curtail the spread of COVID.
A study from 2021 conducted by the University of Louisville using data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found that “80% of US states mandated masks during the COVID-19 pandemic,” but while “mandates induced greater mask compliance, [they] did not predict lower growth rates when community spread was low (minima) or high (maxima).”
Researchers concluded that based on the data, “mask mandates and use are not associated with lower SARS-CoV-2 spread among US states.”
“Our findings do not support the hypothesis that SARS-CoV-2 transmission rates decrease with greater public mask use,” the study said.