California considers emergency COVID-19 rule


SAN FRANCISCO (KRON) – The California Division of Occupational Safety and Health Administration board on Thursday will vote on a rule that would bring a new set of COVID-19 regulations to the workplace.

The temporary regulations would direct employers to establish a written COVID-19 prevention program, training, and safety plans to be implemented.

The draft regulation also contains expected requirements for the use of face coverings, cleaning and disinfecting protocols, the use of personal protective equipment (PPE), and ventilation.

The proposed regulation also includes requirements for notification of potential COVID-19 exposure within one business day to exposed employees, employers, and independent contractors at the workplace.

Additionally, it would require that employers maintain medical records related to COVID-19 and provide those records to the local health department, the California Department of Public Health (CDPH), Cal/OSHA, and the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) upon request.

If Cal/OSHA approves the measure on Nov. 19, it could take effect in early December after it is given a final review and official publication by the state. 

Although the rule would be temporary, it could be renewed for 90 days at a time until either it’s replaced by a permanent rule or the board decides the regulation isn’t needed, Bloomberg Law reports.

Gov. Gavin Newsom said he was pulling the “emergency brake” Monday on reopening the state’s economy as coronavirus cases surge at the fastest rate since the start of the outbreak.

More than 11 million cases have been recorded nationwide as the virus surges almost everywhere. While California accounts for more than 1 million cases — the second-highest number in the U.S. — it is the nation’s most populous state with 40 million residents and ranks 40th in cases per capita.

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