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On January 5, 2022, the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health (LACDPH) issued an Order of the Health Officer requiring all employers to provide face masks to employees “who work indoors and in close contact with other workers or the public.” More specifically, the order states that employers must provide employees “with and require them to wear a well-fitting medical grade mask, surgical mask, or higher-level respirator, such as an N95 filtering facepiece respirator or KN95, at all times while indoors at the worksite or facility.” The new mask mandate exceeds the current California Division of Occupational Safety and Health (Cal/OSHA) requirements, which simply require a face covering. According to the order, employers must provide these masks to employees “as soon as possible, but no later than January 17, 2022.”

The LACDPH also published a fact sheet reminding the public that “all employers are required to provide their employees and workers who work indoors and in close contact to other workers and/or customers with medical grade masks in order to provide additional protection from infection.” The fact sheet also explains the difference between surgical masks and N95 and KN95 respirators and how to properly wear them.

Ogletree Deakins will continue to monitor and report on developments with respect to California’s COVID-19 mandates and will post updates in the firm’s Coronavirus (COVID-19) Resource Center and on the California blog as additional information becomes available. Important information for employers is also available via the firm’s webinar and podcast programs.

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