News   /   June 18, 2021   /   ,

California COVID-19 Reopening Guidance for Individuals and Employers

On June 9, 2021, the California Department of Public Health (“CDPH”) issued its Guidance for the Use of Face Coverings (“Face Covering Guidance”) which took effect as of June 15, 2021, superseding all prior face covering guidance.  On June 11, 2021, CDPH issued a State Public Health Officer Order (“State Order”), which requires all individuals to follow the requirements of the Face Covering Guidance.

On June 14, 2021, the Los Angeles County Department of Health (“County Health”) issued the Safer Return Together at Work and In the Community Order (“County Order”) allowing Los Angeles County (“County”) to align with the State Order.

Guidance for Individuals Effective June 15, 2021

  • Starting June 15, 2021, capacity limitations and physical distancing will be lifted, with the following limited exceptions:
    • Indoor mega events of 5,000+ people or outdoor mega events of 10,000+ people will require that all attendees verify full vaccination status or a negative COVID-19 test 72 hours prior to entry.
    • Day Camps
    • Schools (K-12)
    • Overnight Children’s Camps
  • LA County’s travel advisory will align with state and Unites States Centers for Disease Control (“CDC”) guidance.

Effective June 15, 2021, masks will be required as follows:

  • Fully Vaccinated Individuals (Individuals are considered to be fully vaccinated two weeks after receiving their second dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna vaccines or two weeks after receiving their only dose of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine)
    • Masks are not required for fully vaccinated individuals, except in the following settings where masks are required for everyone, regardless of vaccination status:
      • Public transit
        • Airplanes
        • Trains
        • Subways
        • Buses
        • Taxis
        • Ride-shares
      • Transportation hubs
        • Airport
        • Bus terminal
        • Train station
        • Any other area that provides transportation
      • Indoors in K-12 schools, childcare and other youth settings
      • Healthcare settings (including long-term care facilities)
      • State and local correctional facilities and detention centers
      • Homeless shelters, emergency shelters and cooling centers
  • Unvaccinated Individuals
    • Masks are required for unvaccinated individuals in the following indoor public settings and businesses:
      • Retail
      • Restaurants
      • Theaters
      • Family entertainment centers
      • Meetings
      • State and local government offices serving the public
    • Businesses or hosts may choose to:
      • Provide information to all patrons, guests and attendees regarding vaccination requirements and allow vaccinated individuals to self-attest that they are in compliance prior to entry.
      • Implement vaccine verification to determine whether individuals are required to wear a mask.
      • Require all patrons to wear masks.
    • No person can be prevented from wearing a mask as a condition to be able to participate in an activity or entry into a business.
  • Individuals Who Continue to be Exempt from Mask Requirements
    • Persons with a medical condition, mental health condition or disability.
    • Children under two years of age.
    • Persons who are hearing impaired or are communicating with a person who is hearing impaired.
    • Persons exempted due to their work field, as determined by local, state, or federal regulators.
  • Mandatory Reporting by Businesses and Government Entities
    • As previously required, all owners, managers or operators of any business that learns of three or more cases of COVID-19 among their employees within 14 days are required to report such cases to County Health at (888) 397-3993 or (213) 240-7821.
    • In the event that an owner, manager or operator of any business is informed that one or more employee of the business has tested positive for, or has symptoms related to COVID-19, the employer must have a protocol to require the cases(s) to isolate themselves at home and require the immediate self-quarantine of all employees that had a workplace exposure to the case(s).
  • California Safety Board Vote on Workplace Requirements
    • On June 17, 2021, the California Division of Occupational Safety and Health (“Cal/OSHA”) Board approved an order that went into effect immediately via gubernatorial Executive Order N-09-21. The new guidelines under this order:
      • Allow most fully vaccinated employees to stop wearing masks (unless required by CDHP).
      • Require that employers document who is vaccinated in their workplaces; however, employers are not required to retain copies of vaccination cards and instead can allow employees to self-attest to being fully vaccinated.
        • An employer is not obligated to require employees to submit proof of being fully vaccinated.
        • If there is no requirement in place, an employee has the right to decline to state if they are vaccinated or not and the employer must treat the employee as unvaccinated and must not take disciplinary or discriminatory action against the employee.
      • End requirements for installation of partitions such as plexiglass.
      • Require physical distancing or barriers only in the following:
        • When it is necessary to implement physical distancing and barriers during an outbreak (3 or more cases in an exposed group of employees).
        • During a major outbreak (20 or more cases in an exposed group of employees).
      • Require that an employer provide testing at no cost to the employee during paid time to:
        • Symptomatic unvaccinated employees, regardless of whether there is a known exposure.
        • Unvaccinated employees after an exposure.
        • Vaccinated employees after an exposure if they develop symptoms.
        • Unvaccinated employees in an outbreak.
        • All employees in a major outbreak.
      • Call for a maximum amount of fresh outside air to be let into buildings.
      • Require workplaces to provide masks to workers who are not fully vaccinated and ensure that they wear them when they are indoors or in vehicles.
      • Require employers to provide respirators such N95 masks to not yet fully vaccinated employees upon request.

OMLO will continue to monitor these developments carefully. This article is for informational purposes only and only provides an overview of specific developments. It is not intended to be, and should not be construed as, legal advice for any particular fact situation. For actual legal advice and specifics pertaining to your governmental entity, please contact your OMLO attorney for assistance.

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