On October 20, 2021, Cal/OSHA released further proposed revisions to the current Emergency Temporary Standards (ETS) (which were previously revised once before, here). If approved by the Standards Board, the second re-adoption of the ETS would be effective from January 14, 2022 to April 14, 2022.

Key Takeaways

Face Coverings in the Workplace

All employees, regardless of vaccination status, must wear a face covering while undergoing a COVID-19 screening indoors at the workplace.

COVID- 19 Testing in the Workplace

Employers are required to make COVID-19 testing available, at no cost, during paid time, to all employees, regardless of vaccination status, who have had a close contact in the workplace. Notably, fully vaccinated employees are not exempt from testing requirements.

COVID- 19 Prevention in the Workplace

Employers may, but are no longer required to, maintain a separate COVID-19 prevention plan, and may integrate such plans into the employer’s injury and illness prevention plan (“IIPP”), so long as the IIPP has the COVID-19 protocols.

Close Contacts in the Workplace

  • Employees who were fully vaccinated before having a close contact, but are asymptomatic, do not need to be excluded from the workplace, and may continue to work if the employee:
    • Is tested for COVID-19 3-5 days after the close contact,
    • Wears a face covering at the workplace for 14 days following the last date of close contact, and
    • Maintains 6 feet of distance from others at the workplace for 14 days following the last date of close contact.

 Return to Work Protocol

  • Employees who test positive for COVID-19 and have COVID-19 symptoms can return to work IF:
    • At least 10 days have passed since COVID-19 symptoms first appeared,
    • At least 24 hours has passed since a fever of 100.4 or higher has resolved without the use of fever-reducing medication, and
    • COVID-19 symptoms have improved.
  • Employees who have had a close contact but never developed any COVID-19 symptoms can return to work after 14 days have passed since the last known close contact, but can return to work sooner IF:
    • 10 days have passed since the last known close contact and the person:
      • Wears a face covering, and
      • Maintains 6 feet of distance from others while at the workplace,
      • For 14 days following the last date of close contact, OR
    • 7 days has passed since the last known close contact and the person:
      • Tested negative for COVID-19 using a PCR test taken day 5 or later after the last known close contact,
      • Wears a face covering, and
      • Maintains 6 feet of distance from others while at the workplace,
      • For 14 days following the last date of close contact, and
      • A minimum of 7 days has passed since the last contact occurred.

As additional guidance is issued, we will keep you informed.

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