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Debate On Easing California Workplace COVID Protocols Delayed

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Sacramento, CA — State regulators have halted talks that were scheduled for today as they are rethinking a proposal for a July relaxation of restrictions.

California regulators are now aiming for a mid-June easing of workplace masking and social distancing requirements to conform with a broader state order. They asked to delay today’s debate on how quickly they should drop coronavirus safety rules for employees as they are rethinking a current proposal.  It is before the California Occupational Safety and Health Standards Board and would require vaccinated workers to wait until July 31 before they can stop wearing face masks indoors unless everyone in the room is fully vaccinated.

Cal/OSHA’s staff said it would aim “to make possible a targeted effective date of June 15, 2021,”

This week, California health officials relayed they will keep the state’s rules that generally require indoor masking and distancing until the state more broadly lifts its pandemic restrictions on June 15, a date also endorsed by Gov. Gavin Newsom. Saying the later date will cause confusion, business groups agree and want the workplace regulator to ease its restrictions starting June 15.

California has made a quick transition from being an epicenter for the virus at the start of the year to a record low infection rate of less than 1% and an economy with all sectors now reopened, notwithstanding the restrictions. More than half the state’s population of nearly 40 million has received at least one vaccination dose.