Flash Report: Governor Eyes Executive Order on COVID ETS

Governor Gavin Newsom says he will issue an executive order to deal with a gap in coverage if the Cal/OSHA Standards Board, as expected, adopts new revisions to the COVID emergency temporary standard.

The board published the revisions, written by the Division of Occupational Safety and Health, last Friday, and will vote on them this Thursday, June 17th. The new language removes a requirement for fully vaccinated employees to wear a mask indoors if there are unvaccinated employees present. But approval would still mean that the current, original, version of the standard would be in place while the Office of Administrative Law reviews and approves the revisions. The soonest they could officially take effect is June 28th, according to board staff.

Newsom addressed that prospect yesterday at a news conference. Asked if people should still wear masks at work until the new rules are effective, he replied: “If they adopt the guidelines they published Friday, the answer is no, and we’ll codify that with an executive order to make that clear on the 17th.” The governor added that the executive order will “be consistent” with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidelines.

Adoption of the revised ETS is a virtual certainty.

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