In November 2020, Cal/OSHA passed the COVID-19 Emergency Temporary Standards (ETS). Currently, the Standards are set to expire on October 2, 2021.

On May 7, 2021, Cal/OSHA submitted significant proposed revisions to the ETS, which the Cal/OSHA Standards Board will consider at its mid May meeting. This means the changes could happen as early as the end of the month. The proposed revisions include multiple changes, such as:

  • Defining “fully vaccinated” as documentation that evidences that the person received, at least 14 days prior, either the second dose in a 2-dose COVID-19 vaccine series or a single dose COVID-19 vaccine;
  • Updating its definition of “place of employment” to clarify that the ETS does not apply to employees teleworking from a remote location of their choice;
  • Creating a duty to provide COVID-19 exposure notices when they know or should know about a COVID-19 case;
  • Introducing a new training requirement for vaccine information;
  • Substantially changing physical distancing requirements to allow work locations with fully vaccinated employees to cease physical distancing;
  • Relieving employers from excluding fully vaccinated employees from the workplace after “close contact” with other individuals and from testing vaccinated employees during an outbreak;
  • Shifting from a focus on an “exposed workplace” to defining employees as an “exposed group” of workers at a work location, working area, or common area at which a COVID-19 case was present during the high-risk exposure period; and
  • Tightening up the definition of “face covering” to specifically exclude “a scarf, ski mask, balaclava, bandana, turtleneck, collar, or single layer of fabric.”
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