State Revises COVID-19 Standards

State Revises COVID-19 Standards

On Thursday, June 17, the California Occupational Safety and Health Standards (Cal/ OSHA) board of directors adopted revisions to the COVID- 19 prevention emergency temporary standards. Gov. Gavin Newsom signed an executive order enabling the revisions to take effect immediately.

The revisions include the following:

• Fully vaccinated employees do not need to be offered testing or excluded from work after close contact unless they have COVID-19 symptoms.
• Fully vaccinated employees do not need to wear face coverings except for certain situations during outbreaks and in settings where the Department of Public Health requires all persons to wear them.
• Employers must document the vaccination status of fully vaccinated employees if they do not wear face coverings indoors.
• Employees are not required to wear face coverings when outdoors regardless of vaccination status except for certain employees during outbreaks.
• Employees are explicitly allowed to wear a face covering without fear of retaliation from employers.
• Physical distancing requirements have been eliminated except where an employer determines there is a hazard and for certain employees during major outbreaks.
• Employees who are not fully vaccinated may request respirators (masks) for voluntary use from their employers at no cost and with-out fear of retaliation from their employers.
• Employees who are not fully vaccinated and exhibit COVID-19 symptoms must be offered testing by their employer.
• Employer-provided housing and transportation are exempt from the regulations where all employees are fully vaccinated.
• Employers must review the Interim guidance for Ventilation, Filtration, and Air Quality in Indoor Environments.
• Employers must evaluate ventilation systems to maximize outdoor air and increase filtration efficiency and evaluate the use of additional air cleaning systems.

While these standards reflect the state’s latest COVID 19 public health guidance the state urges employers to continue to review their own health and safety procedures to ensure their workers are protected.