Cal/OSHA recommends unvaccinated workers wear masks indoors at work, not outside

SAN FRANCISCO (KGO) -- Cal/OSHA released updated masking guidance for unvaccinated state workers late Friday.

According to the 30-page draft, if you are fully vaccinated you don't have to wear a mask indoors at work or practice social distancing. Much of the changes made were to adhere to CDC guidance.

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If the changes pass next week, here are the rules for unvaccinated workers:

  • Employers will be responsible for providing face masks to any unvaccinated workers and ensure they're worn only indoors or in cars.

  • The guidance states the masks provided must be clean, undamaged, and worn properly over the nose and mouth --citing face shields cannot be used as a replacement only as additional protection.

  • If you're not vaccinated, you're required to wear a mask anytime you're indoors at work.


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Are there any exceptions allowing unvaccinated workers to be unmasked indoors?

  • When you're alone in a room or car.

  • When eating or drinking, assuming employees are six feet apart.

  • If you have a medical or mental health condition &/or disability preventing you from wearing one. In those situations, the guidance states a face shield or other appropriate alternative should be used.

The guidance also states if you're not vaccinated nor wearing a mask indoors at work, you must stand six feet apart from other people - unless they've been tested within the past week.

The Cal/OSHA board is set to vote on these changes next Thursday. Governor Newsom is confident it will pass.
"We will act accordingly after their decision is made to clarify any considerations of concern," Newsom said. "I was very pleased to see the board rescind their previous vote, we'll get where we need to go."

The state is set to fully reopen the economy on June 15. Cal/OSHA will vote on its updates two days later, on June 17. If the changes pass, they'll take effect on June 28..

ABC7 News reached out to the governor's press office, asking if he's considering mandating the mask change sooner.

A spokesperson only responded by saying, in part: "We cannot speculate as to the Board's upcoming vote but we will continue to work with workers, employers and regulators to transition to a full and safe reopening come June 15."
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