07.29.2021 | COVID-19

Face Covering Mandate Returns

With increasing rates of COVID-19 infection and hospitalizations since June, counties are re-imposing mandates requiring face coverings. Yolo County, Los Angeles County, and now Sacramento County have new requirements, which supersede sections of the June 2021 Cal/OSHA revised emergency temporary standards pertaining to face coverings. The other portions of the June 2021 Cal/OSHA emergency temporary standard remain in effect.

Sacramento County’s new order goes into effect tomorrow, July 30, 2021. Employers in other counties should prepare for similar measures if their own counties issue similar health orders in the near future.

Under the new Sacramento County order, regardless of vaccination status, every person must wear a face covering in all indoor public settings. This applies to employees, customers, and all other people entering the indoor space. There are limited exceptions, including people working alone in a closed office or room and people who are actively eating or drinking.

The new order also requires posting signs at all entry points for indoor settings to communicate the requirements, and recommends that those responsible for indoor settings provide face coverings at no cost to people required to wear them.

We recommend that you review the full text of the new order.

This is a good reminder that COVID remains a dominant issue in California employment law, even though many restrictions from the State “Blueprint for a Safer Economy” were lifted on June 15, 2021. Most California COVID laws will be in place for several more years. And the June 2021 Cal/OSHA emergency temporary standard meticulously regulates how most businesses operate day-to-day for the foreseeable future.

If, since June 2021, you have not yet updated your office’s COVID Prevention Plan or completed the required Cal/OSHA training for your employees on topics like respirators or the importance of the vaccine, you must do so immediately in order to be in compliance. Both the COVID Prevention Plan and updated training are required by Cal/OSHA and should have been done by now.


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