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 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.
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.
- 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.