California Mask “Mandate” Guidance Extended; Los Angeles Increases Mask Burden on Employers
On January 5, 2022, the California Department of Public Health announced the extension of its statewide mask guidance for masking in all indoor public settings through February 15, 2022. Yesterday’s announcement applies to all persons, regardless of vaccine status, with few specific exceptions:
- Kids under two years old.
- Persons with a medical condition, mental health condition, or disability that prevents wearing a mask.
- Persons who are hearing impaired, or communicating with a person who is hearing impaired, where the ability to see the mouth is essential for communication.
- Persons for whom wearing a mask would create a risk to the person related to their work.
Presumably, the other exemptions identified in CDPH’s Q&A published in December, after the previous guidance was announced, will continue to apply, including exceptions for:
- Persons actively eating or drinking.
- Persons actively performing at indoor live or recorded settings or events such as music, acting, or singing.
Also, yesterday, the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health updated its orders to require employers under its jurisdiction to provide employees who work indoors and in close contact with other employees or the public with medical grade masks, surgical masks or higher-level respirators (N95 or KN95) at all times while working indoors. Employers are on notice that this requirement becomes effective on January 17, 2022.
For any legal guidance on these changing conditions, please contact your favorite CDF attorney.