Workplace exposures State Plan states

California updates COVID-19 ETS; Cal/OSHA publishes fact sheets, answers to FAQs

Photo: YULIYA SHAVYRA/iStockphoto

Oakland, CA — Two fact sheets, along with an updated FAQ document, from the California Division of Occupational Safety and Health highlight the latest revisions to the state’s emergency temporary standards on COVID-19 – adopted April 21 by the Occupational Safety and Health Standards Board.

The revised ETS is in effect through Dec. 31 and includes most workers not covered by Cal/OSHA’s standard on aerosol transmissible diseases. The ETS initially was adopted Nov. 30, 2020, and readopted in June 2021 and again in January.

One of the fact sheets is new: What Employers Need to Know About the April 21 Standards. The other – What Employers and Workers Need to Know about COVID-19 Isolation and Quarantine – and the FAQ document, Revisions to the COVID-19 Prevention Emergency Temporary Standards were updated May 7.

In a May 7 press release, the California Department of Industrial Relations says the revised ETS incorporates updated guidance from the state’s Department of Public Health and makes the ETS more flexible if changes are made to CDPH guidance in the future.


Among the revisions:

  • Face coverings are no longer mandatory for unvaccinated workers in all indoor locations.
  • Face coverings are mandatory when CDPH requires their use in certain settings, such as health care facilities, emergency and homeless shelters, long-term care and adult/senior care facilities, and correctional facilities.
  • Respirators must be provided to employees who request them for voluntary use while working indoors or in vehicles with other people.
  • COVID-19 testing must be made available to all employees with symptoms of the disease.
  • Employers must inform workers of CDPH and local health department face covering recommendations and employer policies.

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