Update applicable to:
All employers operating in California
The California Department of Public Health (CDPH) has updated its guidance on COVID-19 outbreaks in non-healthcare settings.
What are the details?
The new definition affects the outbreak provisions under Cal/OSHA’s non-emergency COVID-19 standard reducing the counting timeframe from 14 to 7 days, meaning that an outbreak is now defined as at least three COVID-19 cases within an exposed group during a 7-day period. This aligns with changes made by the Council of State and Territorial Epidemiologists (CSTE) for schools and health care settings.
Additionally, the CDPH has released a new resource called “Get The Most Out of Masking,” which provides guidance on masks, respirators, when to wear masks, and other related information. The CDPH still recommends the use of face masks as a mitigating tool to limit the spread of COVID-19. Employers should stay updated on CDPH guidance and Cal/OSHA’s FAQs for the latest information.
The CDPH made this change based on the shortened disease incubation period with recent variants of the SARS-CoV-2 virus. While this update makes it easier for employers to avoid outbreak status, they still need to consider a 14-day period to exit outbreak status. The major outbreak provisions triggered by 20 or more employee COVID-19 cases within a 30-day period remain unchanged.
For more information, please see the links below:
What do employers need to do?
Employers will now need to implement stricter outbreak protocols only if the new threshold is met. Employers in outbreak status must continue to provide testing, implement preventive measures, and ensure employee compliance with testing and exclusion requirements.
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