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April 28, 2022

Cal/OSHA Adopts COVID-19 ETS Revisions

The California Occupational Safety and Health Standards Board voted on April 21, 2022 to adopt proposed revisions to current COVID-19 Emergency Temporary Standards (Cal/OSHA ETS). The proposed adoption of the latest revisions passed by a 6 to 1 vote and is likely to be approved for implementation on or before the current May 5, 2022 ETS expiration date.

As outlined here, the proposed revisions included several significant changes. In addition to these changes the ETS also includes:

  • A change that will allow self-administered and self-read COVID-19 testing to be used as part of the employer’s return to work criteria if another means of independent verification of the results can be provided (e.g. a time-stamped photograph of the results).
  • A change to the definition of “Face covering” to exclude the qualifier that a tightly woven fabric or non-woven material of at least two layers must be of, “fabrics that do not let light pass through when held up to a light source.”
  • The requirement that “close contacts” must have a negative COVID-19 test taken within three and five days after the close contact or are to be excluded and required to follow ETS Return to Work Criteria.[i]
  • A change to the requirement that testing be “required”— as opposed to “made available”— for major COVID-19 outbreaks (defined as twenty positive tests in thirty days).

Members with questions about ETS revisions should contact Western Growers. Additional ETS revision updates will be provided as they are approved for implementation.

[i] ETS Section 3205(c)(10) (Return to work criteria).