Update Feb. 6, 2023: The California Office of Administrative Law on Feb. 3 approved the COVID-19 Prevention Non-Emergency Regulations, which were filed with the secretary of state and took effect immediately. Continue reading for details of the provisions. The Department of Industrial Relations also published an FAQ.
Jan. 5: Cal/OSHA’s COVID-19 Prevention Non-Emergency Regulations will take effect early this year and replace the most recent version of the emergency temporary standards that California dentists have been complying with since May 2022. Some requirements remain unchanged while other new provisions are intended to help employers “provide consistent protections to workers” and provide the flexibility to respond to future changes in guidance issued by the California Department of Public Health.
The new regulations, once approved by the state’s Office of Administrative Law, will take effect immediately and remain in effect for two years, but employers must follow the record-keeping requirements for three years.
Employers still must maintain a written COVID-19 prevention plan that is either part of or an addendum to their injury and illness prevention plan. CDA has an updated COVID Addendum to the IIPP for dentists’ use.
The non-emergency regulation’s notable new provisions for employers are:
Employers should review the CDPH’s current isolation and quarantine guidance related to potential exposure, close contacts and the infectious period and understand that the definition of close contact is subject to change.
As CDA previously reported, the “infectious period” or isolation for symptomatic and asymptomatic cases was shortened in November to five days if the individual tests negative for COVID-19 on day 5 and if the previously symptomatic individual has not had a fever for over 24 hours without medication.
CDA has a resource on how to pay staff during a COVID-19-related absence.
Under the non-emergency regulations, employers must continue to:
As with the emergency standards, the non-emergency regulation lets employers address COVID-19 workplace measures within their written injury and illness prevention program or as an addendum to the IIPP.
CDA’s regulatory compliance expert updated the sample COVID-19 Addendum to the IIPP to be consistent with the Cal/OSHA non-emergency COVID-19 regulation.
The requirement to provide employees with a written “notice of potential exposure” when a COVID-19 case was present at the worksite was extended last fall through legislation. Employers must provide that notice within one business day of being notified of the potential exposure. More details and a sample customizable notice are in the updated CDA resource.
Dentists can find more details and the new regulation on Cal/OSHA’s COVID-19 prevention resources webpage.