California · COVID-19

Newsom, Cal-OSHA to OK vaccinated workers to go maskless on Thursday

Gov. Gavin Newsom is expected to sign an executive order allowing vaccinated workers to go mask-free starting Thursday.

Newsom’s order will enable new Cal-OSHA rules can take effect as soon as the board votes. Without the order, the board’s vote would take effect 10 days after the Thursday vote.

Cal-OSHA, the state’s principal regulator of workplaces, has undergone a month’s worth of regulatory gymnastics when it comes to mask rules.

Last week, the Cal-OSHA Board revised a rule that required everyone in a workplace to be fully vaccinated in order to allow workers to go maskless.

The rule drew considerable blowback, particularly by public-facing industries, as customers would be able to engage workers without masks and ran afoul of the state’s work to drop mask mandates and conform with U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidelines.

Staff reports from The San Joaquin Valley Sun staff.