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More COVID-19 Guidance from the CDPH and Cal/OSHA

by Jennifer Shaw | | March 21, 2023

Earlier this month, the California Department of Public Health updated its COVID-19 public health Order and guidance regarding isolation/quarantine and face-covering recommendations. Here is a link.

Continuous line art, COVID-19, woman wearing a teal mask.

Isolation/Quarantine Rules

The new isolation/quarantine recommendations follow the CDC’s guidance.  This part of the Order was effective on March 13, 2023.  Here are the key changes:

  • Individuals who test positive for COVID-19 should isolate for five days but may leave isolation after five days if they are feeling well, their symptoms are improving, and they are fever-free for 24 hours. A negative test after five days is not required.
  • “Infectious period” is now defined as follows:
    • For symptomatic confirmed cases, two days before the confirmed case had any symptoms (Day 0 is the first day of symptoms) through Days 5–10 after symptoms first appeared, and 24 hours have passed with no fever without the use of fever-reducing medications improvement in the symptoms.
    • For asymptomatic confirmed cases, two days before the positive specimen collection date (Day 0 is the collection date) through Day 5 after the collection date.

Cal/OSHA’s “Non-Emergency Regulation” incorporates the CDPH’s definition of “infectious period,” so it’s probably worth revising your COVID-19 return-to-work policies.

Face Covering Rules

Effective April 3, 2023, the CDPH’s face-covering guidance are only “recommendations.” The updated guidance also eliminates the face covering requirements for specified high-risk settings, and provides that COVID-19 positive individuals may remove their masks prior to Day 10 if they do not have a fever, their symptoms are improving, and they have two consecutive negative tests at least one day apart. Because nothing is easy, however, Cal/OSHA still requires COVID-19 positive individuals to wear a face covering for 10 days after their symptoms first appear or their first positive test. Sigh.

Yes, it’s time for ANOTHER review of your COVID-19 practices to ensure you are in compliance.  It pays to stay up-to-date.  

Join me every Wednesday morning for Shaw Law Group’s podcast, “Workplace Wake-Up with Jen Shaw” for insightful commentary about legal developments, discussions with special guests, and much, much more here! 

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