Cal/OSHA voted on December 16th to extend the Emergency Temporary Standards (ETS) through April 14th, 2022. The vote also included several revisions to the standard, which will go into effect January 14, 2022. Several of the notable revisions include:

  • Face Covering Light Test: Face coverings must now pass a light test, which involves shining a light through the face covering to see if light will pass through. Cal/OSHA has not yet defined parameters for this test so more information will come.
  • COVID exposure for vaccinated individuals: Previously, those who were vaccinated but had a COVID exposure and remained asymptomatic were not subject to any requirements, now they will have to mask and socially distance for 14 days after their exposure
  • Early return after COVID exposure: individuals currently have to wait 14 days to return after a COVID exposure. Under the new standard they may return:
    • 10 days after the close contact┬áif the employee wears a face covering and maintains 6 feet of separation from others for 14 days.
    • 7 days after the close contact if the person tested negative for COVID-19 using a COVID-19 test with the specimen taken at least five days after the last known close contact; and the person wears a face covering and maintains six feet of distance from others while at the workplace for 14 days following the last date of close contact.
  • Testing for vaccinated individuals: previously, employers did not need to offer testing to vaccinated individuals who had a COVID exposure but were asymptomatic. Employers must now offer COVID testing to employees, regardless of vaccination status.

To view the amended Cal/OSHA Facts Sheet, please click here.

To view the amended Cal/OSHA FAQ, please click here.

This amended ETS comes on the heels of Fed/OSHA approving their ETS. Cal/OSHA will have 30 days to meet or exceed the standards of the Fed/OSHA ETS so we will continue to monitor updates and provide them as we receive them. If you have any questions about the ETS and how it affects your district, please reach out to our Member Services Staff and will gladly assist.