February 2024

State Updates

 

California extends mask requirement

02/03/22

Author: ADP Admin/Monday, January 31, 2022/Categories: Compliance Corner , State Compliance Update, California

The California Department of Public Health (CDPH) has extended the requirement to wear face masks indoors until at least Feb. 15, 2022, regardless of COVID-19 vaccination status. Before the extension, the mask requirement was scheduled to end on Jan. 15, 2022.

The details:

The requirement applies to all workplaces, regardless of whether they serve the public, or are open to the public, according to the CDPH. The CDPH recommends surgical masks or higher-level respirators.

Note: Under rules set by the California Division of Occupational Safety and Health (Cal/OSHA), employers must provide face coverings and ensure they are worn by employees when required by orders. The Cal/OSHA rules define what is considered an acceptable mask, but county and city rules may have additional requirements.

Exemptions:

The following individuals are exempt from the state’s mask requirement:

  • Those younger than two years old (because of the risk of suffocation).
  • Those with a medical condition, mental health condition, or disability that prevents wearing a mask.
  • Those who are hearing impaired, or communicating with a person who is hearing impaired, where the ability to see the mouth is essential for communication.
  • Those for whom wearing a mask would create a risk to the person related to their work, as determined by local, state, or federal regulators or workplace safety guidelines.

Additionally, exceptions apply in the following circumstances:

  • While actively eating or drinking.
  • When working alone in a closed office or room.
  • When performing at indoor live or recorded settings or events such as music, acting, or singing.
  • When obtaining a medical or cosmetic service involving the nose or face for which temporary removal of the face-covering is necessary to perform the services.
  • When wearing respiratory protection, per Cal/OSHA requirements.

Next steps:

  • Refer to CDPH’s guidance for more information.
  • Notify employees of the extension.
  • Continue to display notices at all entrances.
  • Make sure supervisors are trained on how to enforce the requirement.
  • Check county and city rules to determine if they have additional mask requirements.
  • Watch for developments to determine if the state’s mask requirement is extended beyond Feb. 15, 2022.

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