California’s New COVID-19 Executive Order: How it Changes the Cal/OSHA Emergency Standard
Less than one month after the California Occupational Safety and Health Standards Board voted and approved an emergency COVID-19 regulation, Governor Newsom made changes to the regulation adding clarity and suspending the prescribed quarantine period of 14 days to the extent that the 14 days is longer than the quarantine period recommended by the California Department of Public Health.
The emergency temporary standard took effect on November 30, 2020. Almost immediately thereafter, while California employers were attempting to implement the workplace exclusion requirements, the California Department of Public Health published an updated COVID-19 quarantine guidance that set forth different directives.
Specifically, asymptomatic close contacts (defined as individuals who came within six feet of an individual infected with COVID-19 for a cumulative total of 15 minutes or more over a 24-hour period) may discontinue quarantine after day 10 from the date of last exposure with or without testing. This is a reduction from the regulations’ 14-day quarantine requirement and consistent with the guidelines that the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recently issued.