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CALIFORNIA DEPT. OF PUBLIC HEALTH UPDATE

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EMPLOYMENT LAW COVID-19 UPDATE
CALIFORNIA DEPT. OF PUBLIC HEALTH UPDATE
June 1, 2021
BEYOND THE BLUEPRINT

As has been widely discussed, the state will be moving towards a full “reopening” as of June 15, 2021 and in anticipation of that event, the California Department of Public Health (CDPH) issued updated guidance entitled “Beyond the Blueprint for Industry and Business Sectors – Effective June 15”. The updated guidance, issued May 21, 2021, states that in most instances, business operations may return to “usual operations” (with a few exceptions for indoor and outdoor “mega events”).

The CDPH announced that when California fully reopens the economy, the state will move beyond the Blueprint for a Safer Economy and beginning June 15, all sectors listed in the current Blueprint Activities and Business Tiers Chart may return to “usual operations”.

Mask requirements must follow the most recent CDPH guidance dated May 3, 2021.  The stated purpose of the guidance is to provide information about when face coverings are required for members of the general public. It does not substitute for existing guidance about physical distancing and hand hygiene. In the workplace, employers subject to the Cal/OSHA COVID-19 Emergency Temporary Standards (ETS), must ensure that all workers are provided and properly wear face coverings as required by the ETS.

The CDPH update provides the following:

  1. For fully vaccinated persons, face coverings are not required outdoors except when attending crowded outdoor events, such as live performances, parades, fairs, festivals, sports events, or other similar settings.
  2. For unvaccinated persons, face coverings are required outdoors any time physical distancing cannot be maintained, including when attending crowded outdoor events, such as live performances, parades, fairs, festivals, sports events, or other similar settings.
  3. In indoor settings outside of one’s home, including public transportation, face coverings continue to be required regardless of vaccination status, except as outlined below.
  4. As defined in the CDPH Fully Vaccinated Persons Guidance, fully vaccinated people can*:
    • Visit, without wearing masks or physical distancing, with other fully vaccinated people in indoor or outdoor settings; and
    • Visit, without wearing masks or physical distancing, with unvaccinated people (including children) from a single household who are at low risk for severe COVID-19 disease in indoor and outdoor settings
Exemptions:

The following specific settings are exempt from face covering requirements:

      • Persons in a car alone or solely with members of their own household,
      • Persons who are working alone in a closed office or room,
      • Persons who are obtaining a medical or cosmetic service involving the nose or face for which temporary removal of the face covering is necessary to perform the service,
      • Workers who wear respiratory protection, or
      • Persons who are specifically exempted from wearing face coverings by other CDPH guidance.

 

    • The following individuals are exempt from wearing face coverings at all times:
      • Persons younger than two years old. Very young children must not wear a face covering because of the risk of suffocation.
      • Persons with a medical condition, mental health condition, or disability that prevents wearing a face covering. This includes persons with a medical condition for whom wearing a face covering could obstruct breathing or who are unconscious, incapacitated, or otherwise unable to remove a face covering without assistance.*
      • Persons who are hearing impaired, or communicating with a person who is hearing impaired, where the ability to see the mouth is essential for communication.
      • Persons for whom wearing a face covering would create a risk to the person related to their work, as determined by local, state, or federal regulators or workplace safety guidelines.
      • Persons who are specifically exempted from wearing face coverings by other CDPH guidance.

*Note:Persons exempted from wearing a face covering due to a medical condition who are employed in a job involving regular contact with others must wear a non-restrictive alternative, such as a face shield with a drape on the bottom edge, as long as their condition permits it.


CAL/OSHA EMERGENCY TEMPORARY STANDARDS (ETS)

The California Dept. of Public Health reminds employers that they remain subject to the Cal/OSHA COVID-19 Prevention Emergency Temporary Standards (ETS), if applicable to them.  Cal/OSHA was expected to issue updated ETS recently but postponed the vote and will be revisiting the emergency standards to take into account the revised guidance from the CDC that permits fully vaccinated persons to go without masks in some settings.