The Cal/OSHA Standards Board last week announced guidelines that will continue to require masks for many workers, even those who are vaccinated, extending regulations beyond Gov. Gavin Newsom’s directive to reopen the state economy on June 15.

Under the latest update, fully vaccinated workers in indoor settings do not need to wear masks when everyone else in the room is fully vaccinated. But if there is a mixture of vaccinated and unvaccinated people in a room, all workers will continue to be required to wear a face covering.


Outdoor workers who are vaccinated do not need to continue wearing masks but outdoor workers who are not fully vaccinated must continue to wear a face covering when they are less than 6 feet away from another person. Social distancing requirements are loosened and outbreak quarantine protocols are also redefined in the update.


The Occupational Safety and Health Standards Board adopted Cal/OSHA’s revised temporary standards on June 3 and the guidance is expected to go into effect no later than June 15 if approved by the Office of Administrative Law by next week. Some provisions go into effect starting on July 31. The new standards are the first update to the Cal/OSHA guidance since the temporary COVID-19 prevention requirements were first adopted in November 2020.


In response to the updated guidelines, the California Chamber of Commerce is leading a coalition of business groups that are calling for elimination of what they call “the overly burdensome measures in the new regulations.”


In a statement released last week, CalChamber Chief Executive Allan Zaremberg called on Cal/OSHA to adopt the same rules and protocols for workers that Newsom aims to be adopted for the rest of the state beginning June 15.


“Under these rules, workers’ freedoms will be controlled by their fellow workers decisions to get vaccinated, not by their own choices,” he said in a statement. “We join Governor Newsom in encouraging everyone to get vaccinated.”