California Reopens – What Does That Mean?

Written by Susan Kohn Ross

California has officially reopened today – June 15th. Nonetheless, there are some restrictions which remain in place. On June 14th, California posted guidance for various industries, see here. When it comes to office operations, those restrictions remain unchanged as the existing Cal-OSHA recommendations are not yet updated.   At the same time, Cal-OSHA has posted a new guidance – see here – which will be considered at the next Occupational Safety and Health Standards Board meeting on June 17th and, if approved, would typically take effect on June 28th. However, the Governor has announced that if the new guidelines are adopted on the 17th, he will issue an executive order making them effective immediately. Until then, the existing guidelines remain the rule – see here.

As for LA County, the latest version of the Dept. of Public Health website deletes any reference to Appendix D for offices and most others. See here. The only guidelines remaining have to do with schools and camps.  San Francisco County has reopened as well. See here. Oakland has implemented its intended reopening steps and will hold a community briefing on June 15 and one for employers on June 21. See them here. San Diego County has also fully reopened and rescinded its emergency orders. See them here.

Regarding any other locations, since the state reopened, if they have not already done so, each can be expected to reopen as well,  but checking both the county and the city websites for updated guidance is prudent since so many of the rules are set locally and different locations are at different stages of updating their emergency orders and this complexity is true throughout the country.  

Each location is also expected to follow the lead of the State of California and continue to impose face covering requirements. The State of California has released its latest face covering guidelines – see them here. The latest CDC face covering guidance is unchanged from May 28th and can be found here. Even with these changes, there remain what might be called high risk situations where face coverings will be required of all, such as medical and hospital facilities, when traveling, mega events and so on.  This still leaves companies to decide whether they will require all employees to submit proof of vaccination, how to deal with those who decline to be vaccinated, and also those who are excused from vaccination due to medical, religious and similar reasons. Also a challenge is how to treat those who visit their offices in terms of will proof of vaccination be required and, if so, how to notify visitors in advance of this requirement and how to facilitate meetings if the visitor declines to provide proof of vaccination.

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