At its December 16, 2021 Board Meeting, the California Occupational Safety and Health (OSH) Standards Board re-adopted the Emergency Temporary Standard (ETS) for COVID-19 Prevention. This second 90-day re-adoption of the ETS will go into effect January 14, 2022. Changes to the existing ETS can be viewed here, of which the most notable are summarized below:

  • Many exemptions for fully vaccinated individuals have been eliminated. In most circumstances, the vaccinated and unvaccinated are treated the same under the standard.
  • Definition changes:
  • COVID-19 test - including updated, and more stringent criteria for collection and test reading  
  • Face covering - including, use of fabrics that do not let light pass through when held up to a light source (to be clarified in a forthcoming FAQ)
  • Modifications to workplace exclusion and return to work requirements

Cal/OSHA’s efforts to create a permanent COVID-19 standard are ongoing and its implementation is anticipated mid-April, 2022. However, an Executive Order issued by the Governor on 12/16/21 allows for a third re-adoption of the ETS, which could potentially extend the temporary rule through the end of 2022. PRISM will continue to monitor the OSH Standards Board and keep members informed of regulatory changes. For questions about this blog or PRISM's monitoring of COVID-19 regulations, please contact PRISM Risk Control.