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CDPH to End Indoor Mask Mandate Starting on Feb 16th for Most Public Settings – California

Note that following information about the updated CDPH requirement regarding face coverings does not apply to healthcare settings, including dental offices.

The California Department of Public Health (CDPH) announced last week that the universal indoor masking requirement will expire after February 15, 2022, reverting to the previous guidance which requires face coverings only for unvaccinated individuals in indoor public settings and for all individuals in higher risk settings. According to the CDPH Guidance published on February 7, 2022, in addition to healthcare settings, facemasks will continue to be required for all individuals in the following indoor settings, regardless of vaccination status.

  • Public transit, including transportation hubs
  • K-12 schools, childcare (indoor settings)
  • Emergency shelters
  • Correctional facilities and detention centers
  • Homeless shelters
  • Long-term care settings, including adult and senior care facilities

Be sure to check with your local public health department on the local mask mandate status, since counties have the authority to keep the mandates in place, as long as they are stricter than state requirements. Los Angeles and Santa Clara counties, for example, have announced that they will keep the mask mandates in place even after the CDPH February 15th mask mandate expiration date.

Additional Requirements under Cal/OSHA’s ETS

Even with easing of the CDPH mask mandate, employers must still continue to comply with Cal/OSHA’s Emergency Temporary Standard (ETS) for COVID-19 prevention. While the masking requirements are being lifted for general workplace settings, employers must continue to protect employees from exposure to SARS-CoV-2 in healthcare settings (where face coverings must still be donned). Additionally, in a dental office, the ETS required DHCP to wear CDC-recommended personal protective equipment (including a NIOSH-approved N95 or equivalent or higher-level respirator in counties with substantial or high levels of transmission) and use mitigation methods such as four-handed dentistry, high evacuation suction, and dental dams to minimize droplet spatter and aerosols during dental procedures known to generate aerosol. Please refer to our online blog for more information on Cal/OSHA’s ETS requirements.

Additional information on infection control during the COVID-19 pandemic in healthcare settings, including dental offices, is available from the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

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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