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July 2022: CDPH Provided Clarification for COVID-19 Close Contact Guidance 

26 Jul

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Update Applicable to:
All employers in the state of California.

What happened?
The California Department of Public Health (CDPH) has recently provided guidance on the Covid-19 Close Contact Health order.

What are the details?
CDPH had provided some clarification on the guidance issued on June 20, 2022, stating that when entities are responding to potential exposure, they may prioritize the response by:

  • Identifying close contacts who may be considered “high-risk contacts” based on their proximity to the case in the setting, the duration or intensity of their exposure, and/or their greater risk of severe illness or death from exposure.
  • Determining any smaller spaces within the larger indoor setting to assess potential exposure.
  • Determining any transient exposures totaling

On July 18, 2022, Cal/OSHA updated its FAQ for the ETS to address the close contact determination relating to the ETS. Cal/OSHA states that shared indoor airspace may be analyzed in several ways as follows:

  • Smaller spaces within a large indoor space separated by floor-to-ceiling walls are not part of the same indoor airspace as the large indoor space (i.e., suites, waiting areas, bathrooms, or break areas).
  • Larger indoor settings that are not divided into smaller spaces separated by floor-to-ceiling walls may constitute a shared indoor airspace i.e., open-floor plan offices, warehouses, or retail stores. In this situation, Cal/OSHA states that “employers must evaluate whether employees shared the same indoor airspace on a case-by-case basis, considering the duration and proximity of the contact, regardless of the specific task of the employees.”
  • Cal/OSHA states in its guidance that “proximity and length of exposure are vital to this determination.

For more information, please see the links below:

June 20, 2022, Guidance

Close Contact Health Order

Cal/OSHA FAQ for the ETS

Article  

What do employers need to do?
Employers should review the links above and ensure they take the necessary precautions to protect their employees.

Vensure encourages employers to reach out to their local health departments in case there are specific rules, regulations, or guidance that the CDPH does not oversee.

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This communication is intended solely for the purpose of conveying information. The present post might incorporate hyperlinks directing readers to websites managed by third-party entities. The inclusion of any links within this communication is meant to serve as points of reference and could encompass opinion articles from various law firms, articles from HR associations, official websites, news releases, and documents of government agencies, and other relevant third-party sources. Vensure has no authority over these external websites and bears no responsibility for their content. Furthermore, Vensure does not endorse the materials present on these websites. The contents of this communication should not be interpreted as legal advice or as a legal standpoint concerning specific facts or scenarios. Nor should it be deemed an exhaustive compilation of facts potentially pertinent to federal, state, or local laws. It is strongly advised that employers solicit legal guidance from an employment attorney when undertaking actions in response to any legal updates provided. This is due to the possibility of future alterations occurring in federal, state, and local laws, regulations, as well as the directives and guidelines issued by governing agencies. These changes may transpire at any given time, potentially rendering certain portions of the content within this update void or inaccurate.

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