This past weekend, Cal/OSHA released updated Frequently Asked Questions and fact sheets for the third iteration of the COVID-19 Prevention Emergency Temporary Standards (ETS). The current version of the ETS is effective from May 6, 2022, through December 31, 2022. Of course, as we’ve learned over the last few years, anything can change!
FAQs specific to the May 2022 revisions can be found here. FAQs for the ETS in general, including the May 2022 revisions, can be found here.
The FAQs clarify several points, including the following:
- The ETS definitions of “close contact” and “infections period” are consistent with the current CDPH definitions; if CDPH changes its definition of these terms by regulation or order, then the CDPH’s new definitions will override the ETS definitions
- The ETS no longer distinguishes between unvaccinated and vaccinated employees
- Employers must offer COVID-19 testing to all symptomatic employees, whether or not they are vaccinated
- Exclusion pay remains, but exclusion protocols for close-contacts and COVID-19 positive employees have changed: (1) employers must now follow CDPH guidelines for employees who have a close contact; and (2) employees who test positive for COVID-19, regardless of their vaccination status, may return to work after 5 days (i.e., on day 6) if they have a negative test, symptoms are improving, and they wear a face covering at work from day 6 to day 10; otherwise, they may return to work after 10 days (i.e., on day 11)
The Cal/OSHA fact sheets are instructive:
- COVID-19 Isolation and Quarantine – What Employers and Workers Need to Know (Updated May 6, 2022)
- COVID-19 Prevention Emergency Temporary Standards – What Employers Need to know (Updated May 7, 2022)
Remember to update your COVID-19 Prevention Plan…