COVID-19 Masking Guidelines/Mandates Update

Authors: Employment Law Team

We know the ever-changing state and federal guidelines/mandates regarding workplace masks can be challenging to follow. We want to provide you with this latest update regarding masking guidelines/mandates.  

Since February 16, 2022, the California Department of Public Health’s (CDPH) universal indoor masking rule has ended. Only unvaccinated individuals are still required to wear face coverings in all indoor public settings and businesses after February 16, 2022. Although, the CDPH still recommends masks for all.

However, all individuals (regardless of vaccine status) must wear a mask in these indoor public settings:

  • On public transit;
  • Indoors in K-12 schools, childcare;
  • Emergency shelters and cooling and heating centers;
  • Healthcare settings;
  • State and local correctional facilities and detention centers;
  • Homeless shelters; and
  • Long Term Care Settings & Adult and Senior Care Facilities.

Moreover, under the current Cal/OSHA’s COVID-19 Emergency Temporary Standard (ETS) unvaccinated persons in the workplace must still wear a mask. California employers should be aware of other mask requirements under the ETS (e.g. screening, outbreak situations, and when required by the CDPH). Before revoking your workplace masking policy, you should speak with a Cal/OSHA expert or your employment lawyer.

Because certain local jurisdictions plan to continue to require universal masking, employers should check local health orders regarding masking.

Finally, the CDC today just issued new masking guidelines based on local community COVID-19 risk levels. Most Americans (over 70%) are in low or medium-risk communities and under the new guidelines need not wear masks in public. To see your own COVID-19 community risk level see links below (San Diego is still a high-risk community).  

Solomon Ward’s team of employment lawyers is ready to answer any questions you may have regarding COVID-19 masking or other employee issues.

***The information provided in this article is for informational purposes only and not to provide legal advice. Contact your attorney to obtain advice regarding any particular issue or problem.***