As you know, the CDPH issued new mask guidance earlier this week. The order, which was effective on December 15, 2021, requires masks indoors at public transit facilities such as airports, healthcare settings, adult and senior care facilities, schools, correctional facilities, homeless shelters, emergency shelters and cooling centers, movie theaters, retail stores, restaurants, family entertainment centers and government offices that serve the public.
In addition, the CDPH’s revised FAQs makes clear that all indoor workplaces are covered:
Does this guidance apply to all workplaces? Yes, the guidance applies to all workplaces, regardless of whether they serve the public, or are open to the public. Masks may be removed, per the exemption noted below, if the workplace consists of a single employee, or may be removed while an employee is alone in a closed office or room.
In an interesting twist, the new guidance does not apply to counties in the state that already require masks for everyone (vaccinated and unvaccinated):
Does this impact existing local masking requirements? The updated CDPH guidance only applies to those local health jurisdictions that do not already have an existing indoor masking requirement in public settings that applies irrespective of individuals’ vaccine status. For local health jurisdictions that had pre-existing masking requirements irrespective of vaccine status, in indoor public settings, prior to December 13, 2021, those local health orders continue to apply. Local health jurisdictions must either follow current CDPH guidance, or adopt a local order described above that was in effect prior to December 13, 2021.
According to the CDPH, the above provision means that local health orders apply, including exemptions available under those orders. For example, San Francisco, Alameda, and Contra Costa counties may continue enforcing their current mask orders and exemptions (such as for gyms), provided those orders are at least as restrictive as the new CDPH guidance.
Here is a link to the new CDPH FAQs: https://www.cdph.ca.gov/Programs/CID/DCDC/Pages/COVID-19/Face-Coverings-QA.aspx
Happy almost Friday!