SACRAMENTO, Calif. (KRON) – Cal/OSHA came out with a new proposal Friday for COVID-19 safety standards in the workplace.
The agency rescinded its first set of changes because those new standards did not fall in line with guidance from the CDC, nor the California Department of Public Health.
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.
Cal/OSHA’s board will discuss this new proposal at its June 17 meeting. That falls two days after California’s official reopening.
On June 3, the Cal/OSHA board voted to revise the current standards about mask-wearing and social distancing. It allowed people to take their masks off at work as long as everyone was vaccinated and could show proof of it.
But those changes got a lot of criticism. Business leaders said requiring people to show proof would make for a discriminatory workplace environment, casing Cal/OSHA to scrap all changes Wednesday night.
California has a planned reopening for June 15, 2021 – meaning the state won’t enforce any COVID-19 restrictions anymore. Instead, individual counties and businesses can choose to have their own safety policies in place, if any at all.
As of Friday, 54% of Californians are fully vaccinated. In San Diego County, more than 1.7 million residents are fully vaccinated, representing nearly 62% of all residents 12 and older eligible for vaccines.