grocery store cashier wearing masks and face shield

Some workers will continue to be required to wear masks or face shields under pending Cal/OSHA regulations

Sierra Wave received a communication from the Emergency Operations Office with the County of Inyo sent out by Assistance County Administrator Leslie Chapman which offers clarification to business owners and leaders on how the new regulations under Beyond the Blueprint for a Safer Economy affect businesses.

As of Tuesday, June 15th, we are essentially “back to normal” but you will notice a ‘transition to normal” taking place as the public gets used to the new idea of choosing when and when not to wear face coverings. If you have been to any of our local stores, the most obvious being grocery stores, you will see lots of people still wearing masks, while others are not. The signs at the entrance requiring mask are gone. In their place are signs stating that “If you are vaccinated, you do not have to wear a mask.” You will no doubt notice that many employees are still wearing masks. That’s because guidelines are in  the process of being changed to better inform businesses of their responsibilities toward the public and to their employees.

Inyo County Emergency Operations letterhead

June 15, 2021

Hello Business Leaders,
It seems like town has been busy lately, and with many of us being fully vaccinated, there is a feeling of normalcy in the air. I hope you agree, and I hope that your businesses are beginning to recover. With most restrictions being lifted, there is a lot of relief and some confusion. Based on questions I have recently received, clarification is needed regarding current COVID restrictions, masking/non-masking, and CDC vs CDPH vs Cal OSHA masking requirements.

Today is the day most things go back to normal – HOORAY!!  Businesses no longer have customer capacity limits; social distancing requirements and masking conditions have changed for vaccinated customers.

Face Covering Guidance is different for customers than it is for employees because customers are covered by California Department of Public Health (CDPH) Guidelines and businesses and their staff are governed by Cal OSHA. Summaries of guidance follows with links to more detailed information in blue.

CDPH Guidance for your customers and the general public:

CDPH masking guidance
What you need to know

  • Vaccinated individuals are no longer required to wear masks in their personal, day to day life
  • Unvaccinated people still need to wear masks while in indoor public places
  • Schools, healthcare facilities, and congregate settings are required to stay masked, regardless of vaccination status
  • Businesses will need to make their own decision on their masking policy for patrons:
  1. Have patrons self-attest they are vaccinated and no longer need masks (aka honor system that you will wear your mask if unvaccinated)
  2. Check everyone’s vaccine status coming into the business, and make unvaccinated people mask up
  3. Make everyone mask, regardless of vaccination status

Cal OSHA Guidance for employers and staff:

  • Most businesses will need to follow current CalOSHA guidance for employees:
  • Requirements at this time (June 15th) are the same as they were since November 2020 – staff stay masked at work unless alone in a room by themselves or while eating/drinking. See full, current guidance here. Specific face-covering requirements found in section 7 from 11/2020
  • Updates to the CalOSHA standards (to include info for fully vaccinated staff) are being considered at a meeting on June 17th and if passed, will take effect on June 28th. The Q&A of the proposed CalOSHA masking changes are here.

[ Thanks to Marissa Whitney, R.N. for taking this confusing mess, focusing in on the most important points, and helping us make sense of it all!]

Please let me know if you have more questions.
Best of luck to you as we move forward,
Leslie Chapman, Assistant County Administrator

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