Place residence

New Cal/OSHA ETS return to work criteria in place

The Cal/OSHA Temporary Emergency Standards (ETS) go into effect today, January 14, with changes such as:

  • Return-to-work criteria are based on employee immunization status and test results. Additional details are provided below.
  • Isolation and quarantine periods range from 0 to 10 days for healthcare personnel (HCP) depending on vaccination status and negative test results.
  • Employers must make COVID-19 testing available free of charge and during paid hours for all workers who have been in close contact with a COVID-19 case in the workplace, regardless of their vaccination status. workers and even if they are asymptomatic. “Close Contact” is defined below.
  • The revised definition of “COVID-19 test” specifies that employers or a telehealth professional must observe the test and results if the worker uses a home test with self-read results.
  • Employees who are exempt from wearing a face covering due to a medical condition and cannot wear a non-restrictive alternative must be six feet away from all other people and be fully vaccinated or tested weekly for COVID -19 during paid hours.
  • Employers should make additional changes to their COVID-19 Injury and Illness Prevention Plan Addendum based on the aforementioned chips as well as the specific return-to-work criteria listed below.

What we know

Quarantine and other requirements vary based on an employee’s COVID-19 vaccination and testing status. Refer toCDC information on COVID-19 booster shots to determine who is eligible for recall.

Here’s what the ETS return to work guidelines say.

Employees who test positive for COVID-19 (isolation)

All employees, regardless of vaccination status, prior infection, or lack of symptoms, who have COVID-19 can end isolation:

  • After the fever subsides without the use of anti-fever medication; and
  • Symptoms improved; and
  • Either at least 10 days have passed since the first symptoms of COVID-19 appeared or the date of the positive test, or at least five days have passed and a diagnostic sample taken on the fifth day is negative. Preferred antigen test. Employees should wear face coverings around others for a total of 10 days after testing positive, especially in indoor settings. Please refer to the Cal/OSHA ETS FAQ section on face coverings for more information. face covering requirements.

Quarantine for employees who have had close contact with a person with COVID-19 (Exposure)

Employees who are unvaccinated or vaccinated and eligible for the booster, but who have not yet received their booster dose, should self-quarantine until:

  • No symptoms are felt and
  • Either 10 days have passed since the last close contact with COVID-19, or five days if a diagnostic specimen taken five or more days after the last close contact provides a negative test result. A fully vaccinated, booster-eligible, but unboosted employee does not need to quarantine if a diagnostic sample taken 3-5 days after the last close contact tests negative.

Employees should wear a face covering around others for a total of 10 days after exposure, especially indoors.

If an exposed employee tests positive for COVID-19, they must follow the isolation requirements listed above.

If an exposed employee develops symptoms, they should be ruled out pending test results.

No quarantine for employees who are up to date with their vaccinations and who have had close contact with a person with COVID-19

Again, for the purposes of following this guidance, employers should refer toCDC page on COVID-19 booster shotsto determine who is eligible for recall.

Employees who are boosted, or vaccinated but not yet eligible for the booster, do not need to quarantine as long as they:

  • Test on day 5 with a negative result.
  • Wear face coverings around others for 10 days after exposure. If employees test positive, they should follow the isolation recommendations above.

If employees develop symptoms, they should be excluded from the workplace pending test results.

If tests cannot be obtained due to close contact:

  • Employees who are not up to date with their vaccinations must continue to self-quarantine for at least 10 days as explained above.
  • Until new California guidelines are released, where an employee who is current on their vaccinations is unable to test on Day 5 after close contact, current ETS guidelines apply. Effective January 14, 2022, this means employees who are up to date on their vaccinations and cannot be tested on Day 5 will be required to wear a face covering and maintain a six-foot distance for 14 days after close contact.

CDA is working with state agencies to ensure that future regulatory guidance includes an exemption to this more stringent requirement when respiratory protection is used.

Stricter guidelines apply

In addition to the above, when an order to isolate, quarantine, or exclude an employee is issued by a local or state health official, the employee must not return to the work until the isolation or quarantine period is over or the order is not lifted even if the order exceeds the exclusion requirements specified in the ETS or California Department of Public Health recommendation.

Dentists are reminded to adhere to the strictest guidelines offered by local, state or federal agencies. For example, if a dentist’s city or county mandates a 10-day post-exposure quarantine, but a state or federal agency mandates a five-day quarantine, dentists must follow the stricter local mandate ( 10 days). CDA has a resource to help comply with local public health orders.

Definition of close contact

When determining employee exposure, “close contact” is defined by Cal/OSHA as being within six feet of an infected person for a cumulative 15 minutes or more in a 24-hour period, regardless of location, unless a person is wearing properly fitted clothing. respirator such as an N95.

What we are working on

CDA continues to work diligently on behalf of our members, including with State Dental Director Dr. Jay Kumar, Cal/OSHA and the Newsom Administration, to obtain necessary clarification and guidance from the various regulations. We are working to reduce confusion in government guidelines and create tools to help practices manage workplace infections, staffing issues and patient management.

We will continue to advocate for guidance that recognizes the safe infection control practices in dental practices that have continued to protect dental teams and the public throughout the pandemic. We will confirm that the information shared is accurate and useful.

what you can do now

CDA will provide updated tools and resources to facilitate compliance with ETS Cal/OSHA. Please watch for additional information in the CDA Newsroom and on CDA’s social media channels.

Updated CDA resource: