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HR Hot Topic – UPDATE from Cal/OSHA Regarding COVID-19 Emergency Temporary Standards

May 11, 2021 | Written by Admin

On May 3, 2021, the California Department of Public Health issued its COVID-19 Public Health Recommendations for Fully Vaccinated People, which provide that fully vaccinated individuals who have had a COVID-19 exposure do not need to quarantine if they are asymptomatic. Thus, per Executive Order N-84-20, such individuals no longer need to be excluded under the COVID-19 Emergency Temporary Standards (ETS). At Cal/OSHA, we have updated our COVID-19 Emergency Temporary Standards FAQs to reflect this change. For employers and workers who want to know what this change means, we have provided a helpful list of questions and answers regarding this change below.
Q: When must an employer exclude employees from work?
A: Employers must exclude from work employees who are not fully vaccinated if they (1) are COVID-19 cases, or (2) have had COVID-19 exposure. Applying Executive Order N-84-20 and the new CDPH COVID-19 Public Health Recommendations for Fully Vaccinated Individuals, employers must also exclude fully vaccinated employees if they (1) are COVID-19 cases, or (2) have had a COVID-19 exposure and exhibit COVID-19 symptoms. However, employers do not need to exclude fully vaccinated employees who had a COVID-19 exposure who are asymptomatic.
Q: What are the criteria for an employee who is not fully vaccinated and exposed to a COVID-19 case to return to work?
A: Applying Executive Order N-84-20 and the CDPH quarantine guidance, while a 14- day quarantine is recommended, an exposed employee who does not develop symptoms of COVID-19 may return to work after 10 days have passed since the date of last known exposure. Additionally, CDPH has provided guidance permitting health care, emergency response and social services workers to return to work after 7 days with a negative PCR test result collected after day 5 when there is a critical staffing shortage.
Q: What are the quarantine requirements for a fully vaccinated employee exposed to a COVID-19 case?
A: Applying Executive Order N-84-20 and the new CDPH COVID-19 Public Health Recommendations for Fully Vaccinated People, an exposed employee who does not develop symptoms of COVID-19, does not need to quarantine.

We will continue to provide further guidance regarding developing COVID related news. Should you have any questions, please contact our office at 916.444.6200 or

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