The COVID-19 Prevention Emergency Temporary Standards are still in effect.
However, the workplace standards were updated in December 2021 and are effective starting on January 14, 2022.
In addition to these requirements, employers must follow public health orders on COVID-19. The latest order from the California Department of Public Health on January 5, 2022 requires the use of face coverings by all employees when indoors.
The important January 14, 2022 changes include the following:
1. Some of the definitions in the ETS were revised.
a. The definition of “COVID-19 test” now includes specific instructions for workers using a test at home with self-read results. The employer or a telehealth professional must observe the use of the test.
b. The definition of “face covering” was updated to include more specific detail on the different types of acceptable face coverings.
c. The definition of “fully vaccinated” now includes the minimum amount of time workers need to wait between the first and second dose of a two-dose vaccine.
2. Employers must make COVID-19 testing available to fully vaccinated employees after close contact. Under the previous version of the ETS, fully vaccinated employees were exempt from this requirement.
3. The period of time before an employee can return to work after a close contact has been revised. (However, CDPH has since reduced its recommended isolation and quarantine times, and these recommendations override the return-to-work criteria in the revised ETS under the Governor’s Executive Order N-84-20. For more information on return-to-work criteria, please refer to the section on CDPH’s Isolation and Quarantine Guidance.
4. When employees who are fully vaccinated, regardless of whether they are booster-eligible or boosted, cannot be tested as required by CDPH quarantine guidance, those employees must wear face coverings and physically distance (six feet) from others for 14 days if they are to be exempted from the exclusion requirements after close contact.
5. During an outbreak, employers must make COVID-19 testing available to their employees, regardless of vaccination status, on a weekly basis. During a major outbreak, employers must make COVID-19 testing available to their employees, regardless of vaccination status, twice a week, or more frequently if the local health department recommends it.
If you have questions or need assistance in revising your COVID Prevention Plan, please contact Teddi at 714.717.9389 or email@example.com.
SPOILER ALERT: This won’t be the last change required.