Cal/OSHA proposes new workplace mask rules
Sacramento, California (Krona)-The California/Occupational Safety and Health Administration presented a new proposal on COVID-19 safety standards in the workplace on Friday.
The agency cancelled the first batch of changes because these new standards did not meet the guidance of the CDC and the California Department of Public Health.
According to the new proposal:
- Fully vaccinated employees do not need to be tested or quarantined after close contact unless they have symptoms.
- Fully vaccinated employees do not need to wear face masks, except in certain situations during the outbreak and when CDPH requires everyone to wear face masks. If the employee does not wear a mask indoors, the employer must verify and record the vaccination status of the vaccinated employee.
- Employees who are vaccinated are explicitly allowed to wear masks without fear of retaliation from their employers.
- Except for certain employees during a major outbreak, the physical distance requirement has been cancelled.
- Employers must provide voluntary respirators for employees who have not been fully vaccinated upon request.
- The housing and transportation provided by the employer are not subject to the requirement of complete vaccination of all residents and vehicle occupants.
- Employers must provide COVID-19 testing to unvaccinated employees who develop symptoms and vaccinated employees who develop symptoms after close contact with COVID-19 cases.
- Employer must review Temporary Guidelines for Indoor Environment Ventilation, Filtration and Air Quality.
- Employers must evaluate the ventilation system to maximize outdoor air and improve filtration efficiency, and evaluate the use of additional air purification systems.
The Cal/OSHA board of directors will discuss this new proposal at its June 17 meeting.That fall California officially reopened two days later.
On June 3, the California/Occupational Safety and Health Administration (Cal/OSHA) committee voted to amend the current standards for wearing masks and maintaining social distancing. As long as everyone is vaccinated and can show proof, it allows people to take off their masks at work.
But these changes have caused a lot of criticism. Business leaders said that requiring people to show evidence would create a discriminatory work environment, so the California/Occupational Safety and Health Administration cancelled all changes on Wednesday night.
California plans to reopen on June 15, 2021-this means that the state will no longer impose any COVID-19 restrictions. Instead, individual counties and companies can choose to develop their own security policies (if any).
As of Friday, 54% of Californians have been fully vaccinated. In San Diego County, more than 1.7 million residents are fully vaccinated, accounting for nearly 62% of all eligible residents 12 years and older.