Cal/OSHA Adopts Newly Revised COVID-19 Prevention Emergency Temporary Standards Impacting Employers and Workers

Cal/OSHA Adopts Newly Revised COVID-19 Prevention Emergency Temporary Standards Impacting Employers and Workers

VaxNavigator COVID Updates

By MedExpert News | Dec 29, 2021


Today, Cal/OSHA adopted newly revised COVID-19 Prevention Emergency Temporary Standards (“ETS”) standards for California Employers.

The newest version of the ETS go into effect on January 14, 2022. Governor Newsom’s recent “tweet” that California follow the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) “5 day” quarantine recommendation is not included in this new ETS revision.

Important revisions to the ETS include:

Investigating and responding to COVID-19 cases in the workplace

Employers must continue to properly notify employees, employee representatives and any other workers at a worksite of possible COVID-19 exposures within one business day. This section was updated to give employers more clear instructions on how to notify workers who were at the same worksite as the COVID-19 case during the high-risk exposure period.

Testing and Exclusion

  • Employers are now required to make COVID-19 testing available at no cost and during paid time to employees who were fully vaccinated before the “close contact” with a COVID-19 case occurred, even if they are asymptomatic.
  • During outbreaks and major outbreaks, employers must now make weekly testing (outbreaks) or twice-weekly testing (major outbreaks) available to asymptomatic fully vaccinated employees in the exposed group
  • Employees who have recently recovered from COVID-19 and those who are fully vaccinated are not required to be excluded from the workplace after “close contact” but must wear a face covering and maintain six feet of physical distancing for 14 calendar days following the last date of contact.

Return to Work Criteria

The period of time before an employee can return to work after “close contact” or COVID-19 illness has been revised to be consistent with current California Department of Public Health (CDPH) guidelines. These time frames will automatically update if CDPH updates their guidelines pursuant to the Governor’s executive order.



  • “Worksite” now specifically excludes the employee’s personal residence, locations where an employee works alone, and remote work locations chosen by the employee.
  • Definitions revised to be more consistent with federal OSHA, including: o “COVID-19 test” now includes specific instructions for workers using a test at home with self-read results. The employer or a telehealth professional must observe the test results.
  • “Face coverings” was updated to include more specific detail on the different types of acceptable face coverings. o “Fully vaccinated,” now mentions the minimal amount of time workers need to wait between the first and second shot of a two-dose vaccine.

For more information: