On April 21, the Occupational Safety and Health Standards Board approved a new emergency temporary standard (ETS) for COVID-19.
While the new COVID-19 ETS made several changes, the most notable is that the ETS now aligns with the isolation and quarantine guidelines from the California Department of Public Health (CDPH). Additional changes include:
- Striking the out-of-date cleaning and disinfection requirements
- Permitting at-home COVID-19 tests if the test can be independently validated through a time-stamped photograph
- Aligning the ETS with CDPH’s guidance on when COVID-19 is considered infectious
- Clarifying that workers who had COVID-19 in the past 90 days do not need to be provided a COVID-19 test due to close exposure if they are asymptomatic
- Clarifying that unvaccinated employees do not need to wear a mask indoors unless required by CDPH guidance or order
While the COVID-19 ETS continues to exempt employees at acute care hospitals who remain under the Aerosol Transmissible Disease Standard, the COVID-19 ETS applies to all other employees. For hospitals, this may include employees in separate buildings, such as administrative or billing staff. The text of the ETS is available on CalOSHA’s website. Questions should be directed to your hospital’s labor counsel.