As you may have heard, Los Angeles County is reinstating a face covering requirement for indoor locations, regardless of vaccination status. This new requirement will impact face covering obligations to visitors/customers, as well as employees in Los Angeles County.

This new Health Officer Order was released July 16 and goes into effect at 11:59 p.m. on July 17, 2021.  This new order will be in effect until further modified.

While we anticipated (based on comments from LA County) that the new order would contain the same exemptions to the face covering requirements that existed before, it is not clear from the language of the order whether the face covering exemptions from the Cal/OSHA ETS (employees alone in a room, employees eating or drinking) apply.

The new order does not mention these specific exemptions and says that it “overrides the more permissive ETS regarding employee masking.”

The new order does provide for a specified exemption for employees performing specific tasks which cannot be performed while wearing a mask (please note this also does not perfectly align with the Cal/OSHA exemption for specific tasks).  Hopefully, this is something that Los Angeles County clarifies in the near future.

In order to assist you in implementing this new change, we have prepared the following:

In addition, if you have a Written COVID-19 Prevention Program (WCPP) or other COVID-19 policies regarding face coverings, you may wish to consider inserting language into the face covering portion of the WCPP or other COVID-19 policies as follows:

Please note, face coverings may be required in the workplace regardless of vaccination status, if required pursuant to company policy or as required by any applicable local, state or federal order.

We will keep you posted on any further changes to the Los Angeles County Order, including if modified to again allow fully vaccinated individuals to remove face coverings.  Please let us know if you have any questions in the meantime.

Thanks to JorgensenHR and Fisher Phillips for this information.

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