CDC & California Mask Requirements Update as of July 29

CDC Guidance: Safer Activities for You and Your Family

  • If you are fully vaccinated, you can participate in many of the activities that you did before the pandemic.
  • To maximize protection from the Delta variant and prevent possibly spreading it to others, wear a mask indoors in public if you are in an area of substantial or high transmission. LA county and certain other CA counties are considered to be in high risk of transmission.
  • Wearing a mask is most important if you have a weakened immune system or if, because of your age or an underlying medical condition, you are at increased risk for severe disease, or if someone in your household has a weakened immune system, is at increased risk for severe disease, or is unvaccinated. If this applies to you or your household, you might choose to wear a mask regardless of the level of transmission in your area.

You should continue to wear a mask where required by laws, rules, regulations, or local guidance

July 29, 2021 STATE OF CA: Face masks are required for unvaccinated in indoor settings such as an auto dealership.

July 27, 2021 LA COUNTY and Other jurisdictions:  In certain jurisdictions, including LA County and Sacramento, masks are required to be worn by all persons (visitors and employees) in indoor settings regardless of vaccination status.

Note: This guidance is effective July 28, 2021 and supersedes all prior face coverings guidance.

BACKGROUND: The COVID-19 vaccines are effective in preventing serious disease. Unvaccinated persons are more likely to get infected and spread the virus which is transmitted through the air and concentrates indoors. About 15% of our population remains without the option for vaccination (children under 12 years old are not yet eligible) and risk for COVID-19 exposure and infection will remain until we reach full community immunity.

The purpose of this guidance is to provide information about higher risk settings where masks are required or recommended to prevent transmission to persons with higher risk of infection (e.g., unvaccinated or immunocompromised persons), to persons with prolonged, cumulative exposures (e.g., workers), or to persons whose vaccination status is unknown. When people who are not fully vaccinated wear a mask correctly, they protect others as well as themselves. Consistent and correct mask use by people who are not fully vaccinated is especially important indoors.

With the emergence of the more contagious Delta variant in California which now accounts for over 80% of cases sequenced, cases and hospitalizations of COVID-19 are rising throughout the state, especially amongst those that remain unvaccinated. 

Despite ongoing outreach and improving COVID-19 vaccine access, as of July 27, 2021, a significant proportion of Californians throughout the state are not yet fully vaccinated. The Delta variant is two times as contagious than early COVID-19 variants, leading to increasing infections.

In California, unvaccinated persons continue to be required to wear masks in all indoor public settings. This guidance is an update, in light of review of the most recent CDC recommendations. To achieve universal masking in indoor public settings, we are recommending that fully vaccinated people also mask in indoor public settings across California. This adds an extra precautionary measure for all to reduce the transmission of COVID-19, especially in communities currently seeing the highest transmission rates. Local health jurisdictions may be more restrictive than this guidance.

In California, fully vaccinated people might choose to wear a mask in indoor non-public settings, particularly if they are immunocompromised or at increased risk for severe disease from COVID-19, or if they have someone in their household who is immunocompromised, at increased risk of severe disease, not fully vaccinated, or not yet eligible for vaccination. In workplaces, employers are subject to the Cal/OSHA COVID-19 Emergency Temporary Standards (ETS) or in some workplaces the Cal/OSHA Aerosol Transmissible Diseases (ATD) Standard and should consult those regulations for additional applicable requirements.

EXEMPTIONS TO MASK REQUIREMENTS: The following individuals are exempt from wearing masks at all times:

  • Persons younger than two years old. Very young children must not wear a mask because of the risk of suffocation.
  • Persons with a medical condition, mental health condition, or disability that prevents wearing a mask. This includes persons with a medical condition for whom wearing a mask could obstruct breathing or who are unconscious, incapacitated, or otherwise unable to remove a mask without assistance.
  • Persons who are hearing impaired, or communicating with a person who is hearing impaired, where the ability to see the mouth is essential for communication.
  • Persons for whom wearing a mask would create a risk to the person related to their work, as determined by local, state, or federal regulators or workplace safety guidelines.

LA COUNTY UPDATE: http://publichealth.lacounty.gov/media/Coronavirus/docs/HOO/HOO_SaferReturnWorkCommunity.pdf

SACRAMENTO COUNTY UPDATE: https://www.saccounty.net/news/Documents/Sacramento%20County%20Order%20of%20the%20Health%20Officer%20-%2007-29-2021.pdf

YOLO COUNTY UPDATE: https://www.yolocounty.org/home/showpublisheddocument/70193/637630003192700000

CDC Guidance on masking effective July 27, 2021: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/vaccines/fully-vaccinated.html

Disclaimer: The contents of this newsletter are merely for informational purposes only and are not to be considered as professional advice. Information from CDC, Fed-OSHA and Cal/OSHA was used to prepare part of this newsletter.  Employers must consult their lawyer for legal matters and safety consultants for matters related to safety.  The article was authored by Sam Celly of Celly Services, Inc. who has been helping automobile dealers comply with EPA & OSHA regulations since 1987.  Sam received his BE (1984) and MS (1986) in Chemical Engineering followed by a J.D. from Southwestern University School of Law (1997).  Our newsletters can be accessed at www.epaoshablog.com.  Your comments/questions are always welcome.  Please send them to sam@cellyservices.com.

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