COVID-19 Workplace Rules Linger For California Employers Even Absent a COVID-19 Emergency
Effective February 3, 2023 and in place until February 3, 2025, Cal-OSHA’s Non-Emergency Regulations direct all employers to continue to follow certain COVID-19 guidance. As a result, employers should vigilantly monitor the California Department of Public Health’s (CDPH) ever-changing protocols.
For example, earlier this month, the CDPH made changes that impact workplace protocols, including:
Face coverings: Effective April 3, 2023, face coverings, while recommended, will no longer be required in any setting, including health care. Nevertheless, the CDPH continues to recommend face coverings in many settings. And, employees who meet the conditions to return to the workplace less than 10 days after testing positive for COVID-19, must wear a face covering for a total of 10 days.
Infectious period: CDPH changed this definition, effective March 13, 2023, which impacts any notification obligations of an employer who learns of COVID-19 in the workplace. The new definition is:
- For symptomatic confirmed cases - 2 days before the person had any symptoms through days 5–10 except, starting any time after day 5, the infectious period ends if the person has no fever for 24 hours and symptoms have improved.
- After day 10, the infectious period ends if the COVID-19 case has no fever for 24 hours, whether or not other symptoms are improving.
- For asymptomatic confirmed cases, 2 days before the person tested positive through day 5 after the positive test.
California’s employers are encouraged to update their Injury and Illness Prevention Plan as it applies to COVID-19 and may wish to consult with their favorite CDF attorney when making the update to ensure compliance.