Masks No Longer Required in Workplace

Previously (before the temporary mask mandate for all persons which expired February 15th, 2022), Cal/OSHA Emergency Temporary Standards did not require fully vaccinated employees to wear a mask in the workplace, but it did require unvaccinated employees to wear a mask. This has recently changed. While it is recommended that unvaccinated employees wear a mask in the workplace it is no longer mandated.

On Monday, Governor Newsom signed an executive order that suspends the Cal OSHA rule that requires “all employees who are not fully vaccinated, employers shall provide face coverings and ensure they are worn when indoors.”  This was done so Cal/OSHA rules are consistent with the California Department of Public Health (CDPH) guidance.

These is the current guidelines from the CDPH:

Effective March 1, 2022, the requirement that unvaccinated individuals mask in indoor public settings will move to a strong recommendation that all persons, regardless of vaccine status, continue indoor masking.

  • Universal masking shall remain required in specified high-risk settings.
    • On public transit (examples: airplanes, ships, ferries, trains, subways, buses, taxis, and ride-shares) and in transportation hubs (examples: airport, bus terminal, marina, train station, seaport or other port, subway station, or any other area that provides transportation)
    • Emergency shelters and cooling and heating centers
    • Healthcare settings (applies to all healthcare settings)
    • State and local correctional facilities and detention centers
    • Homeless shelters
    • Long Term Care Settings & Adult and Senior Care Facilities
  • After March 11, 2022, the universal masking requirement for K-12 and Childcare settings will terminate.   CDPH strongly recommends that individuals in these settings continue to mask in indoor settings when the universal masking requirement lifts.

While this applies to California in general, certain counties or cities may have different requirements, so be sure to check your local county and city ordinances. For instance, Los Angeles is not planning to drop the indoor mask mandate before Friday.

NOTE: Employees who have been exposed to or have tested positive for COVID-19 still need to comply with the masking requirements under the CDPH Guidance for Local Health Jurisdictions on Isolation and Quarantine of the General Public.

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