On June 10, after much fanfare and expectation, the federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) released a COVID-19 emergency temporary standard for hospitals and other health care settings. However, existing California guidance and regulations on masking and social distancing must be followed by California hospitals.
From the federal perspective, the COVID-19 emergency temporary standard is a significant step forward in guidance. In particular, it provides significant flexibility in permitting vaccinated employees to go unmasked and without social distancing under specified circumstances. However, for California and other states operating under a state OSHA plan, federal regulations serve as a floor — the regulation specifically states that it does NOT pre-empt more stringent state and local laws.
CHA will continue to update members on any federal or state updates to COVID-19 standards or guidance. Please reach out to your OSHA counsel with any questions.