Less than one month after the California Occupational Safety and Health Standards Board voted and approved an emergency COVID-19 regulation, Governor Newsom made changes to the regulation adding clarity and suspending the prescribed quarantine period of 14 days to the extent that the 14 days is longer than the quarantine period recommended by the California Department of Public Health.
The emergency temporary standard took effect on November 30, 2020. Almost immediately thereafter, while California employers were attempting to implement the workplace exclusion requirements, the California Department of Public Health published an updated COVID-19 quarantine guidance that set forth different directives.
Specifically, asymptomatic close contacts (defined as individuals who came within six feet of an individual infected with COVID-19 for a cumulative total of 15 minutes or more over a 24-hour period) may discontinue quarantine after day 10 from the date of last exposure with or without testing. This is a reduction from the regulations’ 14-day quarantine requirement and consistent with the guidelines that the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recently issued.
Ogletree Deakins will continue to monitor and report on developments with respect to the COVID-19 pandemic and will post updates in the firm’s Coronavirus (COVID-19) Resource Center as additional information becomes available. In addition, on December 17, 2020, Ogletree Deakins will conduct a webinar on the emergency COVID-19 regulation that the Standards Board and the California Division of Occupational Safety and Health (Cal/OSHA) passed in November. “OSHA Hour: Implementing Cal/OSHA’s COVID-19 Prevention Program and Managing the Workforce” will cover the changes to the quarantine period, the new requirement that employers implement a written “COVID-19 Prevention Program” and other compliance issues. To register for this timely program, click here.