URGENT CA: California Reinstates Indoor Mask Mandate Statewide December 15, 2021 through January 15, 2022

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On California Department of Public Health (CDPH) is requiring masks to be worn in all indoor public settings, regardless of vaccine status, for the next four weeks (December 15, 2021 through January 15, 2022), at which time the State will re-evaluate next steps. Surgical masks or higher-level respirators are recommended.

This mask mandate for all indoor settings supersedes all prior face coverings guidance.

What does this mean for private employers?

Face coverings must be worn by:

  • Unvaccinated employees while working indoors or in vehicles. Exceptions are while working alone or eating or drinking in the workplace at least six feet from other workers;
  • All employees, regardless of vaccination status, indoors if in the same work location or common area with an outbreak of 3 or more COVID cases, and outdoors during an outbreak where six feet of physical distance cannot be maintained; and
  • All individuals in the following indoor settings, regardless of vaccination status:
    • On public transit;
    • Indoors in K-12 schools, childcare;
    • Emergency shelters and cooling centers;
    • Healthcare settings;
    • State and local correctional facilities and detention centers;
    • Homeless shelters; and
    • Long Term Care Settings and Adult and Senior Care Facilities.

Face covering requirements also apply to unvaccinated individuals in indoor public settings and businesses (e.g., retail, restaurants, theaters, state, and local government offices serving the public).

In addition, all California employers are subject to the Cal/OSHA COVID-19 Emergency Temporary Standards (ETS).

Exemptions to masks requirements

The following individuals are exempt from wearing masks at all times:

  • Persons younger than two years old.
  • Persons with a medical condition, mental health condition, or disability that prevents wearing a mask. This includes persons with a medical condition for whom wearing a mask could obstruct breathing or who are unconscious, incapacitated, or otherwise unable to remove a mask without assistance.
  • Persons who are hearing impaired, or communicating with a person who is hearing impaired, where the ability to see the mouth is essential for communication.
  • Persons for whom wearing a mask would create a risk to the person related to their work, as determined by local, state, or federal regulators or workplace safety guidelines.

Questions? You may find further information on this topic, as well as Face Covering Notices to Employees and sample policies in the Guardian HR Forms Library under “Coronavirus > Safety > Face Coverings” located in the Client Portal for continuously updated materials on this and other topics. Access to our Client Portal is only available to active client users.

Clients wishing for additional information on how to implement the mask mandate, please contact your Guardian HR dedicated Manager.

If you wish to become a client of Guardian HR and get access to all our resources including your own dedicated HR Manager and our team of employment attorneys, please contact us at sales@guardian-hr.com or call us at 888-373-4724.