California is a week away from a full reopening of the economy and while stores and sectors will rid their capacity limits, some social distancing and mask regulations will remain for workers, until at least July 31.
On Monday, L.A. County Public Health detailed new workplace mask regulations that will go into effect by June 15.
“The revised emergency standards are expected to go into effect no later than June 15 if approved by the state’s office of administrative law,” L.A. County Health Officer, Dr. Muntu Davis, said.
Davis also emphasized a move away from cloth and surgical masks and asked that employers provide N95 respirators for “better protection” of their employees, as an increase of interactions with others likely to occur after the June 15 economic reopening.
The N95 respirators were also suggested for general public use by unvaccinated people who may be at risk of contracting COVID-19.
The CDC also lists approved N95 respirators for users who may be weary of counterfeit brands.
Below are the regulations L.A. Public Health addressed for masks at the workplace, expected to begin on June 15.
Face Coverings/Masks At Work
When working indoors, employees will still have to wear masks whether they are vaccinated or not.
The exceptions to indoor mask wearing will be if a worker is alone in a room, or is in a room where everyone is vaccinated.
The regulations slightly loosen for workers outdoors. If workers are 6 feet away from each other, the masks can be removed, however that changes for what the state considers “mega events.” If an employee is working at an event that holds more than 10,000 people, masks should still be worn.
The social distancing measures are a little different than what they have been in the past. The onus will be on employers to provide unvaccinated workers with N95 masks.
If employers provide “voluntary” N95 masks, social distancing measures will be lifted in the workplace.
Staying Home With Symptoms
Another change to workplace regulations state that vaccinated individuals will be allowed to go to work, even if in close contact with a person who experienced COVID-19 symptoms.
“The underlying logic to all these regulations was to account for changes in circumstances, especially related to vaccine availability, the effectiveness of the vaccines and the low case rates that are being seen across the state,” Dr. Davis said.