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Cal/OSHA loosens worksite pandemic rules amid reopening

Virus Outbreak-California
Posted at 12:43 PM, Jun 17, 2021
and last updated 2021-06-17 17:30:11-04

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — UPDATE: California regulators have approved revised worksite pandemic rules that allow fully vaccinated employees the same freedoms as when they are off the job.

Fully vaccinated employees can now go maskless indoors except where required by the state. Workers will not need to wear masks outdoors except during COVID outbreaks.

According to ABC30, the masking guidelines for workplaces under the new rules are:

  • Vaccinated employees are not required to wear masks while indoors, except for the places where California still requires masks to be worn by all people
  • Unvaccinated employees must still wear face masks in indoor settings
  • Face masks are not required for vaccinated and unvaccinated workers while outdoors

Cal/OSHA also dropped physical distancing requirements, unless the workplace experiences a COVID-19 outbreak.

Employers will need to document who is vaccinated in their workplaces, but they are not required to retain copies of vaccination cards. Instead, they can allow employees to self-attest to full inoculation.

However, regulators also added that businesses can choose to be more strict when it comes to masking.

The revised regulations adopted Thursday come after weeks of confusion. They conform with general state guidelines by ending most mask rules for people who are vaccinated against the coronavirus.

Virus Outbreak Los Angeles

23ABC In-Depth

What does the Cal/OSHA mask decision mean for you?

Anthony Wright, 23ABC
8:44 AM, Jun 17, 2021

Gov. Gavin Newsom says he'll quickly issue an executive order sidestepping the usual legal review to allow the rules to take effect soon. The rules apply to almost every workplace in the state.

This is a developing story. More information as it becomes available.


California regulators are expected to approve revised worksite pandemic rules that allow fully vaccinated employees the same freedoms as when they are off the job.

The revised regulations would conform with general state guidelines that took effect this week by ending most mask rules for people who are vaccinated against the coronavirus. Gov. Gavin Newsom promised on the eve of Thursday's meeting that the seven-member, governor-appointed California Occupational Safety and Health Standards Board will make that official with a vote.
Newsom said he will then quickly issue an executive order sidestepping the usual 10-day legal review before the rules can take effect.