California Governor Gavin Newsom signed an executive order this week for the immediate adoption of revised COVID-19 Prevention Emergency Temporary Standards recently submitted by the Occupational Safety and Health Standards Board.
The order enabled the revisions to take immediate effect without the normal 10-day review period by the Office of Administrative Law.
Here is a summary of the revised temporary standards (effective now) as provided in a release by the California Department of Industrial Relations:
- 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 CDPH 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 for voluntary use from their employers at no cost and without 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.
Cal/OSHA has created a helpful reference for employers looking for more information with its Proposed Revisions to the COVID-19 Prevention Emergency Temporary Standards Frequently Asked Questions.
If you have questions regarding these revisions as they pertain to your own business, please send me an email.