As we recently discussed, last week the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) announced guidance that loosened its COVID-19 rules for facial coverings and social distancing for fully vaccinated individuals. However, the CDC guidance was not intended to override, and explicitly made such guidance subject to, federal, state, or local rules.
In what should not be a surprise to employers in the Golden State, California had already announced that it will be maintaining its current masking guidance until at least June 15. Los Angeles County, despite boasting low and stable metrics, has announced that it will do the same in light of continued COVID-19 transmission.
L.A. County will thus remain in alignment with the Los Angeles County Health Officer Order of May 3. Under this guidance, masks will, at least until June 15, continue to be required for everyone, whether vaccinated or unvaccinated, at workplaces (per the Cal/OSHA masking and distancing requirements) and at large events, public transportation, retail, and business establishments.
Masks are also required for all unvaccinated people outdoors if social distancing cannot be maintained. Masks are not required for fully vaccinated people outdoors – unless at a crowded event – and during indoor and outdoor visits with other fully vaccinated people and with unvaccinated people from one household without high risk people.
So although the CDC guidance was a welcome harbinger of better days, employers in California should continue to exercise restraint and monitor local guidelines as to what rules specific to their business apply.
For questions on how local and CDC vaccination guidance affect your business, please contact an author of this post or the Hogan Lovells lawyer with whom you usually work.