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Cal/OSHA requires paid testing for vaccinated under new guidelines

Posted On: Jan. 19, 2022 11:11 AM CST

COVID testing

California employers are now required to make COVID-19 testing available at no cost and during paid time to workers who were fully vaccinated before coming into close contact with a person with COVID-19, according to a new fact sheet released by the California Division of Occupational Safety and Health on Friday.

Cal/OSHA said it updated its COVID-19 Prevention Emergency Temporary Standards to incorporate new guidance on quarantine and isolation periods from the Department of Public Health and to reflect revisions by the Occupational Safety and Health Board that took effect Friday.

Under the new guidelines, employers must now make weekly testing available during outbreaks and twice weekly during major outbreaks. Workers who test positive must be excluded from the workplace for at least five days, regardless of vaccination status. A worker can return after the fifth day if he or she does not have symptoms and tests negative. If a worker can’t test or declines a test, she can return to work after 10 days of isolation.

Also under the new rules, vaccinated workers do not need to be excluded from the workplace following exposure to someone with COVID-19 if they are asymptomatic. These workers must be removed from the workplace pending a test result if they develop symptoms.

Employees who are exempt from wearing a face covering due to medical conditions must maintain at least 6 feet of physical distancing and either be fully vaccinated or tested at least weekly for COVID-19.

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