As California announced its official statewide reopening on June 15, 2021, employers remained in the dark awaiting an official announcement from Cal/OSHA on new face-covering guidance. While initially proposing requirements that all workers—whether vaccinated or not—must continue to wear face coverings at work, the California Occupational Safety and Health Standards Board changed course on June 17, and has now officially approved revised Emergency Temporary Standards allowing vaccinated workers to go mask-free at the office. Governor Newsom has issued an executive order implementing these new standards effective immediately.
The approval on June 17, 2021, of new Emergency Temporary Standards makes some substantial changes to prior COVID-19 workplace protocols, while leaving many of the prior protocols in place.
Key protocol changes include:
The new protocols do not change the following COVID-19 protocols, all of which still apply: