As Californians eagerly await the official reopening of the state on June 15, county officials are warning locals that some Covid safety measures, including masks and distancing, may persist.
Specifically, workplaces will have to follow rules set by Cal/OSHA that still call for the now normal practice of masks and distance, especially when co-workers are not vaccinated. In addition, businesses may implement voluntary restrictions on behavior if they deem it necessary for their safety.
According to state guidelines, general distancing requirements at retail establishments will be lifted this month. Mask rules are expected to align with CDC protocols for shoppers and capacity limits in most situations will be lifted.
However, even after most sectors fully open on June 15 there will continue to be sector specific protocols for schools, day camps, daycare, hospitals, health care facilities and high risk congregate settings.
Los Angeles County Public Health Director Barbara Ferrer said these protocols will continue masking, distancing and infection control safety measures as appropriate.
“And while businesses may not be required to maintain distancing, masks and infection control, particularly for their customers after June 15, we recognize that many businesses may want to continue some public health measures for the safety of their workers and their customers,” she said. “So we will be posting Best Practices next week to help businesses make plans, and I will provide you with more updates as these become available. I do want to be clear we are fully aligning with the state we are fully aligning with Cal/OSHA, but we will provide some guidance to many of the business sectors as they begin to figure out what makes sense in their particular location or at their particular site.”
Under proposed Cal/OSHA guidelines masks will still be required for indoor work environments where some employees are not vaccinated. Vaccinated employees in outdoor environments will be able to unmask but those who are not fully vaccinated may still be required to cover their nose and mouth.
Ferrer said it’s important for businesses to know the OSHA standards and follow them.
“Now workers are still going to be protected at the workplace and unless everybody in a room is fully vaccinated, masks are going to still be required,” she said. “So I think at least for now Cal/OSHA doesn’t want to take any chances with them for safety.”