On June 17th the Cal/OSHA Standards Board passed amended COVID-19 Emergency Temporary Standards, which were intended to bring consistency between the California Department of Public Health mask guidance and Cal-OSHA’s workplace requirements.
However, since the passage of the amendments, several counties, including Los Angeles County, have seen a rise in COVID-19 cases. In response, the Los Angeles County Public Health Department (LADPH) issued a revised order that went into effect on July 17, 2021. This followed a “strong recommendation” that all individuals wear masks indoors that was issued by the LADPH in late June.
Under the new order, everyone must wear a mask, regardless of vaccination status in the following situations:
Individuals, businesses, venue operators or a host of public indoor settings must:
Although Cal-OSHA allows fully vaccinated employees to forgo face coverings in the workplace upon providing proof, or attesting, that they are fully vaccinated, Cal-OSHA allows local health jurisdictions to require more protective mandates. Accordingly, the LA County order overrides the more permissible Cal-OSHA Temporary Standards.
The LA County order allows certain employees in workplaces to be exempt from wearing a mask when performing specific tasks that cannot feasibly be performed wearing a mask. These types of exceptions are limited to the period of time in which such tasks are actually being performed. Moreover, workers who cannot feasibly wear a mask while performing their work must be tested for COVID-19 at least twice per week, unless the employer is provided proof of the employee’s full vaccination against COVID-19 or proof of recovery from laboratory-confirmed COVID-19 within the past 90 days.
The County has also issued revised guidance regarding mask requirements available on their website.
The Bay Area could soon have renewed masks mandates, as the Counties of Alameda, Contra Costa, Marin, San Francisco, San Mateo, Santa Clara, Sonoma, and the City of Berkley have issued a joint statement strongly recommending masking for everyone indoors.
Jackson Lewis will continue to track COVID-19 related statutes and ordinances around the state of California.