mask guidance

Employees Might Have to Keep Masks On Past June 15: Cal/ OSHA

Cal/OSHA’s workplace safety board is expected to vote on the proposed guidelines at the end of the week

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In two weeks many of the state's COVID-19 restrictions will be lifted, including mask-wearing guidance for those who are fully vaccinated.

While customers may be able to ditch the mask, the California Division of Occupational Safety and Health is considering workplace rules that are much stricter than state and federal guidelines, and would require employees to keep the mask on even past June 15.

Frank Rothstein and his coworkers at Prima Vini wine and spirits shop may have to wait a bit longer than they hoped before unmasking.

Cal/OSHA is considering a proposal that would require workers to continue masking up unless the business has documentation that all employees have been fully vaccinated.

"They are looking out for worker safety so they may impose rules that are stricter than the general public," said Contra Costa County Health Director Chris Farnitano.

He added that the county is anxiously waiting for the agency's guidance as they've had their share of workplace outbreaks throughout the pandemic.

"Certainly when people go to work in person it’s a place that they’re potentially at risk for catching COVID," he said. "So all these guidelines are designed to minimize that risk."

Walnut Creek restaurant owner Tony Dudum said his employees are eager to take off their face coverings, but says he’ll do what CAl/OSHA says he must.

"I think everybody would like to take the mask off and be free and not hostage to this device," Dudum said.

A customer at 1515 Restaurant and Lounge, Tony Dudum's businesses, said he is behind Cal/OSHA's proposal.

"I don’t know how businesses feel but for a customer I feel good walking in and seeing everyone in masks," customer Robin Donaghue said.

Cal/OSHA’s workplace safety board is expected to vote on the proposed guidelines at the end of the week.

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