CSAC Bulletin Article

Updates Released for Cal/OSHA COVID-19 Emergency Regulations

December 17, 2020

This week brought some welcomed updates for county employers, as the California Department of Public Health (CDPH) issued a new guidance on quarantining. The guidance shortens the time necessary for asymptomatic close contacts (e.g., potential workplace exposures) to quarantine, from 14 to 10 days, with or without testing.  All individuals permitted to reduce the quarantine period to less than 14 days must:

  • Adhere strictly to all recommended non-pharmaceutical interventions, including wearing face coverings at all times, maintaining a distance of at least 6 feet from others and the interventions required below, through Day 14.
  • Use surgical face masks at all times during work for those returning after Day 7, and continue to use face coverings when outside the home through Day 14 after last exposure.
  • Self-monitor for COVID-19 symptoms through Day 14 and, if symptoms occur, immediately self-isolate and contact their local public health department or healthcare provider and seek testing.

Importantly, the guidance also allows some health care workers to return to work after 7 days, if they have received a negative test from a specimen collected after day 5. This applies to:

  • Exposed asymptomatic health care workers; and
  • Exposed asymptomatic emergency response and social service workers who work face to face with clients in the child welfare system or in assisted living facilities.

In addition, the Governor’s Office released a new Executive Order which ultimately applies the CDPH guidance (discussed above) to the Cal/OSHA COVID-19 emergency regulations that were approved earlier this month, unless a local public health order provides for longer exclusion. The regulations increased the state’s ability to enforce COVID-19 related workplace safety measures.

CSAC will continue advocating on behalf of counties to ease the burdens created by complex and conflicting information contained with the regulations and recently enacted legislation.   For additional information or to share county-specific impacts of these regulations, please contact Ryan Souza at rsouza@counties.org.

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