California is on Track to Remove Masks in the Workplace

California is on Track to Remove Masks in the Workplace

Fully vaccinated employees are inching towards taking off their masks at work as long as their coworkers follow their lead.

It’s a big step for California: optional masks in the workplace. However, this is as long as a proposal from California’s workplace agency gets final approval. This state is moving towards lifting many COVID-19 restrictions beginning June 15. Cal/OSHA proposes to relax emergency workplace rules that were established late last year.

According to an article, with these changes, employees working indoors could stop wearing masks only if everyone in the workplace proves proof of vaccination against the disease. Social distancing rules would also become relaxed. The author of the article referenced, Rachel Schnalzer, published a detailed breakdown with two of her colleagues of what you need to know about the proposal.

Will this happen?

The proposal got one crucial approval. However, it is still subject to review by the state office of Administrative Law. The office is expected to approve it.

Who doesn’t have to wear a mask while working indoors?

Masks will still be required everyone is not fully vaccinated. The article says, people are fully vaccinated two weeks after their second dose of the Pfizer or Moderna vaccines or the single shot of Johnson & Johnson. Employees will need to show proof they got vaccinated to their employers.

However, employees of retail stores, restaurants and other places where workers interact will still need to wear their masks. This rule change also wouldn’t affect hospital workers.

What else does the Cal/OSHA proposal cover?

The agency also suggests ending social distancing requirements—kicking in July 31.

Until then, employees working inside or work at outdoor events of 10,000 people or more, will either need to continue distancing or be offered respirators such as N-95 masks by their employers.

Do vaccinated workers need to continue to be tested for COVID-19?

Since the state’s guidance just changed, if you are a non-healthcare worker and have been fully vaccinated, you do not need to be screened for COVID-19.

Can businesses maintain their own rules?

Businesses and employers can choose their own requirements about wearing masks after the state no longer mandates it.

Were some changes recently extended?

California Governor Gavin Newsom and health officials are following California’s COVID-19 state of emergency order. This gives them the authority to temporarily impose new rules and restrictions that will remain in place beyond June 15. California is extending the ability of restaurants and bars to serve alcoholic drinks in outdoor dining areas as well as for delivery and to-go orders through the rest of the year.

Read the full story about what re-opened Los Angeles will look like here.

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  • OHS Magazine Digital Edition - November December 2021

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