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Cal/OSHA Issues FAQ Update Relating to New CDPH Isolation & Quarantine Guidance

On Behalf of | Jan 10, 2022 | CAL/OSHA, COVID, Employment Law, Vaccination

On January 6, 2022, Cal/OSHA updated its FAQ on the Emergency Temporary Standard (ETS) to explain how the new California Department of Public Health (CDPH) Guidance on Quarantine and Isolation interacts.  The CDPH is substantially different from the prior isolation and quarantine standards and from the CDC’s standard, which has created confusion.  Under this new standard, booster status and booster eligibility of individuals are considered in quarantine and isolation.  Furthermore, the timing of discontinuing quarantine or isolation largely depends upon the use of tests.

Governor Newsom signed an executive order in December 2020 which provides that the exclusion periods under the ETS are suspended to the extent they exceed the longer of the applicable CDPH recommended quarantine or isolation period or the local health department’s quarantine or isolation period. (E.O. N-84-20.) As Cal/OSHA notes, Cal/OSHA’s June 2021 standard is still effective and a readopted and revised COVID-19 ETS standard is effective on January 14, 2022.  In the FAQ it describes the effect of the CDPH Guidance as follows:

 “This means that, with only one exception noted below, the new isolation and quarantine recommendations from CDPH replace the exclusion periods and return to work criteria in…the ETS.

The June 17, 2021 ETS remains in effect until January 14, 2022. Until then, the quarantine rules for fully vaccinated workers set forth therein continue to apply because exclusion period for this group of workers is not longer than those recommended by the updated CDPH guidance. However, employers are encouraged to review and begin the process of implementing the CDPH recommendations before then. The CDPH recommendations will replace exclusion periods and return to work criteria for all workers when the second readoption of the ETS takes effect on January 14, 2022.”

Should you have questions about the CDPH standards, the Cal/OSHA ETS, or your business’ compliance with these requirements, please contact the attorneys at Sagaser, Watkins & Wieland, P.C.