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CDPH Strikes Again – New Guidance on Masking, Mega Events, and Travel Guidance
Dec 16, 2021

CDPH Strikes Again – New Guidance on Masking, Mega Events, and Travel Guidance

Topics: COVID-19

On December 13, 2021, the California Department of Public Health (“CDPH”) issued updated “guidance” related to masking, the timing of COVID testing of non-vaccinated persons at Mega Events, and COVID testing for persons entering into California.

The initial masking guidance is in effect from December 15, 2021 through January 15, 2022 provides for “masks to be worn in all indoor public settings, irrespective of vaccine status” with few exceptions.

On December 14, 2021, CDPH published additional guidance to clarify the intention of the CDPH.  The newest guidance indicates that the CDPH’s new mask guidance only applies to local health jurisdictions that do not already have an existing indoor masking requirement in public settings that applies irrespective of individuals' vaccine status.  So, in local health jurisdictions, like Los Angeles, with pre-existing masking requirements for indoor public settings, such local health orders continue to apply. 

While CDPH confirmed that it intends the guidance to apply in all workplaces, regardless of whether they serve the public, or are open to the public, they also confirm exceptions for employees who are alone in a closed office or room.  

CDPH also confirmed additional exceptions for:

  • Persons actively eating or drinking.
  • Persons actively performing at indoor live or recorded settings or events such as music, acting, or singing. 
  • Kids under the age of two.
  • Persons who are specifically exempted from wearing masks by other CDPH guidance.

Additional CDPH guidance shortens the required period to show negative COVID tests before attending a Mega Event for people who cannot show proof of being fully vaccinated against COVID. A Mega Event is an outdoor setting that attracts over 10,000 attendees or an indoor event with over 1000 attendees.  In the CDPH guidance, “[e]ffective December 15th, for those who cannot provide proof of full COVID-19 vaccination status, testing for Mega Events is required to be conducted within one day for antigen tests, and within two days for PCR tests prior to entry into the facility or venue.”  This guidance does not include a prospective end date.

Finally, the CDPH issued a “Travel Advisory” that recommends that all persons arriving in California from other states or countries get COVID tested within 3 to 5 days after their arrival and, if necessary, isolate.  This recommendation appears to apply to vaccinated and unvaccinated persons.

CDF Labor law will update on any new orders or guidance as it develops.

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For over 25 years, CDF has distinguished itself as one of the top employment, labor and immigration firms in California, representing employers in single-plaintiff and class action lawsuits and advising employers on related legal compliance and risk avoidance. We cover the state, with five locations from Sacramento to San Diego.

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About the Editor in Chief

Sacramento Office Managing Partner and Chair of CDF’s Traditional Labor Law Practice Group. Mark has been practicing labor and employment law in California for thirty years. His practice has a special emphasis on the representation of California employers in union-management relations and handling federal and state court litigation and administrative matters triggered by all types of employment-related disputes. He is also adept at providing creative and practical legal advice to help minimize the risks inherent in employing workers in California. He recently named “Sacramento Lawyer of the Year” in Employment Law-Management for 2021 by Best Lawyers®.
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