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News Flash: Cal/OSHA to Loosen Mask Requirements After June 15th

June 15th, 2021, the anticipated reopening day for California, is fast approaching. However, this does not mean everything will immediately go back to pre-COVID-19 times. We have recently received inquiries from our clients about masking requirements for California businesses, which were expected to begin on June 15th.

Current Status

For employee safety, employers must still comply with Cal/OSHA’s emergency temporary standard (ETS) Section 3205 COVID-19 Prevention (which took effect on November 30th, 2020) until a revised ETS is adopted. Please see the News Flash emailed to our clients on December 9th, 2020, and also included in the January/February 2021 Training Document for more information on the requirements of Cal/OSHA’s prevailing ETS.

Expected Revisions

On June 3rd, the Cal/OSHA Standard Board (Board) approved revisions to the ETS on new face covering guidance and submitted them to the Office of Administrative Law (OAL). However, according to an announcement posted on Cal/OSHA’s website, the Board decided to withdraw the ETS revisions from OAL in order to align Cal/OSHA’s COVID-19 prevention requirements with the latest guidance from the California Department of Public Health (CDPH), which were released on June 9th. Cal/OSHA will present the new revisions to the Board, which could be considered as early as the regular Board meeting on June 17th. If adopted, the revision would go into effect on June 28th. Governor Newsom has hinted that the time gap from June 15th to June 28th will be managed, either by Executive Order or some other emergency ruling.

Employers should be aware that the prevailing ETS – as passed in November 2020 – will continue in place until the new revisions are adopted, or until the Governor issues a remedy, which could mean that there will be no changes to workplace COVID-19 standards on June 15th, despite California’s planned public reopening and the CDPH easing of face covering restrictions for the general public.

After the ETS revisions are adopted, Cal/OSHA is expected to continually address many of employers’ questions on its online ETS FAQs.

New CDPH Guidance

According to the new CDPH guidance dated June 9th, to align with recommendations from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), as of June 15th, face coverings will no longer be required for fully vaccinated Californians, except in the following public settings:

  • On public transit
  • Indoors in youth settings (schools, childcare)
  • Healthcare settings
  • Correctional facilities
  • Homeless shelters, emergency shelters, and cooling centers

For unvaccinated individuals, the new CDPH guidance will require masks in indoor public settings and businesses (examples: retail, restaurants, theaters, family entertainment centers, meetings, state and local government offices serving the public).

OSHA Review, Inc. will continue to provide guidance as new information and clarification becomes available.

Since 1992, OSHA Review, Inc. has provided dental professionals with comprehensive programs to support regulatory compliance and infection control. We are a registered continuing education provider in the state of California, specializing in Dental Practice Act, infection control, and OSHA training.

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