Mask mandate to remain in effect for workers, Cal/OSHA withdraws current guidance

Officials with the state and the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health announced Thursday that face coverings would be required indoors until at least Nov. 1. Signal file photo

The state’s mask mandate is expected to remain in effect for workers regardless of vaccination status after the “blueprint for a safer economy” expires June 15 as the state’s workplace safety agency reconsiders guidance. 

The California Occupational Safety and Health Standards board voted Wednesday evening to withdraw guidelines that were approved June 3, stating workers are required to wear face coverings regardless of vaccination status except when alone or when all persons in a room are vaccinated. 

“The (Cal/OSHA) standards board voted to withdraw the revisions to the COVID-19 emergency prevention temporary standards that were approved June 3,” read a Cal/OSHA press release. “Cal/OSHA will review the new mask guidance and bring any new recommended revisions to the board, which could be considered at a future board meeting, perhaps as early as the regular board meeting June 17. In the meantime, all the protections adopted in November 2020 will remain in effect.” 

L.A. County Public Health Director Barbara Ferrer announced during a press briefing Thursday the county will align with Cal/OSHA and the state’s guidance regarding the June 15 expiration date and the county’s health officer order will be updated accordingly. 

“The state’s occupational safety and health standards board decided to keep Cal/OSHA’s existing standards in place while they develop a new set of standards that are more fully aligned with the state’s reopening masking guidance,” Ferrer said. “This means that the proposed standards that were introduced last week are no longer being considered.” 

Ferrer added that all workers must be masked regardless of vaccination status indoors and outdoors, unless alone or outside and physically distanced from others. 

Masking will also be required for those using public transportation, indoor K-12 schools, health care settings, including long-term care facilities, correctional facilities and detention centers, and homeless, emergency or cooling shelters. 

“Additionally, masks will be required for unvaccinated people in indoor public settings and businesses,” said Ferrer. “This includes retail, restaurants, theaters, family entertainment centers, meetings and state or local government offices that are serving the public.” 

Ferrer also announced that businesses will have options on how to implement vaccine requirements. Businesses will be able to allow patrons to self-attest vaccination status, implement some type of vaccine verification process or require all patrons to wear a mask.  

“As of June 15, masks will not be required in most outdoor settings for anyone, regardless of vaccination status,” Ferrer said. “The exceptions will be at workplaces where 6 feet of distancing cannot be maintained and that’s per the current Cal/OSHA standard.” 

Until Cal/OSHA updates their standards, workers who are indoors will be required to wear a face mask in the county regardless of vaccination status, Ferrer said. 

Public Health officials also released the following updated COVID-19 statistics Thursday: 

New COVID-19 cases reported in L.A. County in the past 24 hours: 220 

Total COVID-19 cases in L.A. County: 1,245,771 

New deaths related to COVID-19 reported: 7 

Total COVID-19 deaths in L.A. County: 24,414 

Hospitalizations countywide: 244 

COVID-19 cases reported in the Santa Clarita Valley in the past 24 hours: 7, 5 of which came from the city of Santa Clarita. 

Total COVID-19 cases in the SCV: 27,951 

Total COVID-19 deaths in the SCV as of June 9: 305 

Percentage of vaccinated people (at least one dose) in the city of Santa Clarita as of May 28: 64.8% 

Percentage of vaccinated people (at least one dose) in the SCV as of May 28: 61.8% 

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