No More Masks? What You Need to Know as California Adjusts the Mandate
During March, the Center for Disease Control and the California Department of Public Health made statements relaxing the masks mandate indoors. But this is not a one-size-fits-all situation. Keep reading below to see what employers are responsible for and how they can transition into this new season of the pandemic.
• The CDC has shifted to a holistic measure with considerations for the COVID-19 crisis. They have now taken into account each counties transmission rate, hospitalizations, and hospital capacity. The metric uses a low, medium, or high risks designation for individual counties. Any county below a high risk is now able to remove masks indoors regardless of vaccination status.
• CDPH has also made a similar statement following the announcement from the CDC. By the end of the month all businesses will no longer be required to mask up indoors for employees or customers. Schools, public transits, and health care locations will be the last to have the masks mandate lifted near mid March. There is one caveat that allows local counties/cities to make their own mandates if they consider COVID-19 to be a high risk for themselves. Los Angeles County for example, will have a later removal date than the rest of the state.
• As an employer, we encourage you to check local regulations before making any masks policy adjustments. You are entitled to enforce a masks policy if you wish. Both the CDC and CDPH make allowance for individual companies to decide what is best for their staff. Make sure that this mask policy is fair for all employees and followed consistently.
• After March 11th, California will be mostly free from masks. However, employees and customers still have the right to voluntarily wear masks. Accommodations must be made if this is the case. And please note that if an employee comes in close contact with COVID-19, the employee must wear a mask 10 days from date of contact while working.
We hope this information has been helpful. As always, reach out to us if you need more assistance with this or anything else. Our mission is your mission. We thrive when you thrive.