COVID-19 (coronavirus) Information and Updates
California has reopened, but what does that
mean for the workplace?
On Tuesday, California reopened its economy. While this is an accomplishment the community has been working toward for more than a year, there has been some confusion about what reopening means for employers due to mixed messaging from the California Division of Occupational Safety and Health, or Cal/OSHA. We have tried to sort through the information that is currently available to help you understand what it all means.
WHAT REOPENING GENERALLY LOOKS LIKE
As of June 15, 2021,Governor Newsom terminated the executive orders that put into place the Stay Home Order and the Blueprint for a Safer Economy and phased out the majority of executive actions put in place since March 2020 as part of the pandemic response,.
The new public health order, effective June 15, supersedes all prior health orders. The order has limited restrictions, only related to masking and mega-events, as well as settings serving children and youth pending an expected update to the K-12 schools guidance by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Restrictions that ended on June 15 include:
- Physical distancing
- Capacity limits on businesses
- County tier system
CDPH updated statewide masking guidance to match the CDC’s guidance, lifting California’s mask requirements for vaccinated individuals. Vaccinated people are able to come together without masks in most circumstances. People who are unvaccinated must continue to wear a mask indoors in public settings to protect themselves and others. Also, there are some settings where masking is still required for everyone, such as:
- Public transit
- Long-term care facilities
- Homeless shelters
- Indoors in K-12 schools, childcare, and other youth settings
Specific information on masking can be found here. You can also find details about reopening in the California Department of Public Health’s Beyond the Blueprint for Industry and Business Sectors and the Questions & Answers.
WHAT REOPENING LOOKS LIKE IN THE WORKPLACE
Cal/OSHA met yesterday to update rules for masks and distancing in the workplace. The news rules include:
- Employers may allow vaccinated employees to work without face coverings indoors, but they must document workers’ vaccination status. That documentation process allows workers to either show written proof of vaccination, such as a CDC vaccine card, or to “self-attest” that they are vaccinated without providing documentation.
- Workers can decline to state if they are vaccinated or not. However, they will be treated as if they are unvaccinated.
- Unvaccinated workers must wear masks indoors, unless alone in a room or vehicle. Employers must make approved respirators, such as an N95 mask, available for unvaccinated workers if they request them.
- No face coverings are required outdoors unless there is an outbreak.
- If there is a COVID outbreak, masks will be mandated for all workers indoors, and outdoors if six-foot physical distancing can’t be maintained.
- No physical distancing or barriers between workers are required, regardless of employees’ vaccination status, although employers can re-evaluate the need if an outbreak occurs. Distancing and barriers will be mandated if a “major outbreak” of 20 or more cases occurs.
- Fully vaccinated workers with no COVID symptoms do not need to be tested or quarantined after they are exposed to the virus.
- Employees cannot face retaliation for wearing a mask, even if they are not required to do so.
Gov. Newsom signed an executive order allowing the new rules to take effect immediately, eliminating the usual 10-day administrative law review. Employers may want to reference Cal/OSHAs frequently asked questions about the revisions.
As we learn more, we will continue to share it with you. We look forward to continuing to work with you on the City's economic recovery.
City of Scotts Valley