California Governor Gavin Newsom Signs a New Set of COVID-19 Orders
Cal/OSHA releases new proposed guidelines for fully vaccinated people after receiving backlash from the previous set of rules.
- By Shereen Hashem
- Jun 15, 2021
Cal/OSHA has a new proposal for its safety standards for COVID-19 in the workplace after a lot of controversy emerged from the first proposal. On June 3, the board voted to revise the current standards about mask-wearing and social distancing. It allowed people to take their masks off at work with proof of vaccination and only if everyone else in the workplace was vaccinated, as well.
The agency revoked its initial set of changes because they did not fall in line with CDC guidance nor the California Department of Health. California Governor Gavin Newsom signed this executive order that will take effect Tuesday.
According to an article, under the new proposal:
• Fully vaccinated employees do not need to be tested or to quarantine after close contact unless they have 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 verify and document the vaccination status of fully vaccinated employees if they do not wear face coverings indoors.
• Explicitly allow vaccinated employees to wear a face-covering without fear of retaliation from employers.
• Physical distancing requirements have been eliminated except for certain employees during major outbreaks.
• Employers must provide employees who are not fully vaccinated with respirators for voluntary use, upon request and at no cost.
• Employer-provided housing and transportation is exempt from the regulations where all residents and vehicle occupants are fully vaccinated.
• Employers must make COVID-19 testing available to unvaccinated employees who have symptoms as well as vaccinated employees who have symptoms after close contact with a COVID-19 case.
• 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.
The Cal/OSHA board will be discussing this proposal two days after California officially reopens on June 17. The executive order will also end the state’s stay-at-home order as well as its various amendments. According to an article, fully vaccinated people can stop wearing masks in most places and there will be no capacity or social distancing requirements for businesses.
Shereen Hashem is the Associate Content Editor for Occupational Health & Safety magazine.