Following the vote by the Occupational Safety and Health Standards Board to adopt revised COVID-19 Prevention Emergency Temporary Standards that reflect the state’s latest COVID-19 public health order, Governor Gavin Newsom recently signed an executive order enabling the revisions to take effect without the normal 10-day review period by the Office of Administrative Law. That order is designed to help provide clarity and consistency for employers and employees as California fully reopens its economy.
Among other updates, CalOSHA’s revisions align with the latest guidance from the California Department of Public Health – based on guidelines issued by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention – on face coverings and eliminate physical distancing requirements, except for certain employees during outbreaks. Unless they show symptoms, fully vaccinated employees do not need to be offered testing or be excluded from work after close contact with a COVID-19-positive person.
Ensuring workplaces throughout the state have consistent guidance as California officially moves Beyond the Blueprint, the Governor’s order waives the 10-day review process by the Office of Administrative Law. The emergency regulations will take effect upon their filing with the Secretary of State. With over 40 million vaccines administered and amongst the lowest case rates and transmission rates in the nation, the state fully reopened on June 15, eliminating pandemic-related restrictions that have been in place over the past year.
Initially implemented last November, the COVID-19 Emergency Temporary Standards remain an important component of the state’s ongoing response, providing balanced worker protections that support California’s continued progress in recovering from the pandemic.
Businesses seeking assistance to provide N95 respirators for unvaccinated employees as required by the revised Emergency Temporary Standards can find distribution locations for state-provided N95 respirators at: https://saferatwork.covid19.ca.gov/n95-distribution/