Choice Stories

July 2, 2021

State Proposes No Masks for Vaccinated Employees

On June 3, the California Division of Occupational Safety and Health (Cal/OSHA) said whether an employee has to wear a mask depends on the vaccination status of others. Now, Cal/OSHA will propose something different. At its June 17 meeting, it will consider allowing fully vaccinated individuals to stop wearing a mask on the job.

The new rule could go into effect by June 28, aligning it with rules issued by the California Department of Public Health that take effect on June 15.

Earlier, Cal/OSHA said workers would be able to go without a mask only if everyone in a work area is vaccinated fully against COVID-19. For workers without full vaccination, masks stay on except when drinking or eating.

What Californians can do outside of their workplace versus at home poses a challenge – for employers and employees.

Regulations issued by Cal/OSHA apply in virtually all California workplaces. The exception is for a single employee who does not have contact with others. Or, where employees are working from home.

As of June 11, statewide, 58.5% of Californians have had at least one shot. More than 45 percent are vaccinated fully, according to Bloomberg. The Golden State has the highest daily rate of vaccine doses. Unfortunately, those numbers are down from five weeks ago.

The highest distribution counties are Los Angeles (10 million), San Diego (3.61 million), and Orange (3.27 million). Marin County has the highest rate of vaccination at 67.3%, with 10 other California counties above 50%.

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