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Cal/OSHA Clarified Latest ETS Changes

Earlier we detailed the latest changes in the Cal/OSHA COVID-19 Prevention Emergency Temporary Standards (ETS).  See What’s New In 2022: Kickin’ Corona: Cal/OSHA Further Revises Testing and Prevention Standards (May 6, 2022).

Cal/OSHA has also issued additional guidance on those changes.  A brief fact sheet lays out quarantine periods after a positive test or exposure.  And special FAQs point out the changes to the ETS:

  • Definitions of “close contact,” “infectious period,” and “COVID-19 test” have been changed significantly, and the term “fully vaccinated” has been removed from the regulations.  The revised ETS uses the “close contact” definition adopted by the California Department of Public Health (CDPH), i.e., sharing an indoor airspace with an infected person (per laboratory or clinical diagnosis) for a cumulative total of at least 15 minutes in 24 hours.
  • Face covering requirements are the same whether vaccinated or not, and are no longer mandatory in all indoor settings for the unvaccinated (but stay tuned for LA County’s possible new mask mandate).
  • Rules for mandatory masking and exclusion of employees who had a close contact with a COVID-infected person now follow the California Department of Public Health (CDPH) requirements.
  • Cal/OSHA also now follows the CDPH Isolation and Quarantine Guidance for those who test positive, allowing return to work after five days if the person tests negative and wears a mask for five additional days.
  • Cleaning and disinfecting requirements are no longer included.
  • Employers must provide respirators to employees who request them for voluntary use indoors or while in vehicles with others, and testing for all symptomatic employees, regardless of vaccination status.
  • Additional rules for employer-furnished housing and transportation, as well as outbreaks, both major and non-major.

Other, previously existing rules remain in place and are addressed in the fully revised FAQs.

Take-Away: California employers should consult the quarantine period fact sheet and the new FAQs for helpful guidance on current requirements for COVID-19 issues.

For further information, please contact Tim Bowles, Cindy Bamforth or Helena Kobrin.

See also:

Helena Kobrin
July 28, 2022

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