Cal/OSHA updated its FAQs to conform to the new recommendations of the California Department of Health (CDPH). So, hot off the presses, here are the latest rules for California workplaces. A couple interesting points to note: First, there is no quarantine required for boosted employees and a shortened quarantine option available for fully-vaccinated, but not yet boosted employees if they are asymptomatic and test negative 3-5 days after exposure (see Table 2 below).
Also note that LA County will require employers to provide employees who work indoors with a medical grade mask, surgical mask, or N95 or K95 respirator., effective January 17th. Employees who are required by their employers to wear N95 or K95 respirators are also not considered “close contacts” under Cal/OSHA so would not need to be excluded from the workplace for workplace exposure contact tracing. Happy first Friday of 2022!!
Table 1: Exclusion Requirements for Employees Who Test Positive for COVID-19 (Isolation)
|Requirements apply to all employees, regardless of vaccination status, previous infection, or lack of symptoms.||
Table 2: Employees Who Are Exposed to Someone with COVID-19 (Quarantine)
|Requirements apply to employees who are:
+Includes persons previously infected with SARS-CoV-2 within the last 90 days.
++See Table 4 for definition of booster-eligible.
*Antigen test preferred.
+++Employers are not required to exclude asymptomatic employees in this category if:
- A negative diagnostic test* is obtained within 3-5 days after last exposure to a case;
- Employee wears a face covering around others for a total of 10 days (please refer to the section in this FAQ on face coverings for additional face covering requirements); and
- Employee continues to have no symptoms.
Table 3: Employees Who Are Exposed to Someone with COVID-19 (No Quarantine Required)
|Requirements apply to employees who are:
× (See Table 4 for definition of booster-eligible)
|Employees do not need to quarantine if they:
Table 4: California COVID-19 Vaccines Booster Recommendations
|COVID-19 vaccine||Primary vaccination series||When does a person becomes booster-eligible||Which vaccine booster dose to receive|
|Moderna or Pfizer-BioNTech||1st and 2nd doses||6 months after 2nd dose||Any of the COVID-19 vaccines authorized in the United States may be used for the booster dose, but either Moderna or Pfizer-BioNTech are preferred.|
|Johnson and Johnson [J&J]/Janssen||1st dose||2 months after 1st dose||Any of the COVID-19 vaccines authorized in the United States may be used for the booster dose, but either Moderna or Pfizer-BioNTech are preferred.|
|World Health Organization (WHO) emergency use listing COVID-19 vaccine||All recommended doses||6 months after getting all recommended doses||Single booster dose of Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine|
|A mix and match series composed of any combination of FDA-approved, FDA-authorized, or WHO-EUL COVID-19 vaccines||All recommended doses||6 months after getting all recommended doses||Single booster dose of Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine|
In addition to the above, pursuant to section 3205(c)(10)(E), when an order to isolate, quarantine, or exclude an employee is issued by a local or state health official, the employee shall not return to work until the period of isolation or quarantine is completed or the order is lifted even if the order exceeds the specified exclusion requirements in the ETS or CDPH recommendation.
Q: What if tests cannot be obtained following a close contact?
A: If employees covered by Table 2 cannot be tested as required, quarantine must continue for at least 10 days as explained in the table. If employees covered by Table 3 cannot be tested on day 5, employers should follow the ETS. For vaccinated close contacts, as of January 14, 2022, that means wearing a face covering and maintaining six feet of distance for 14 days following the close contact.
i Employers may require employees submit to viral testing for COVID-19. Please refer to the FAQ from DFEH for further information.
ii A fever is a measured body temperature of 100.4 degrees Fahrenheit or higher.
iii A fever resolves when 24 hours have passed with no fever, without the use of fever-reducing medications.