In two weeks, California residents will be able to ditch their masks while they are COVID-19 vaccinated. However, it's uncertain if the new rule is going to allow businesses plenty of time for preparations and enacting a plan that meets all state standards.
In light of recent changes in policy surrounding face mask-wearing guidelines for those who have not been infected with COVID-19 yet (those fully vaccinated), many small business owners must take steps now or risk being fined by OSHA down the line as stricter regulations kick into place on June 15th.
Frank Rothstein and his coworkers at Prima Vini wine and spirits shop may have to wait a bit longer than they hoped before unmasking.
The key is so close, but not yet in the palm of their hand...
The latest proposal would require workers to continue masking up unless the business has documentation that all employees have been fully vaccinated.
"They are looking out for worker safety so they may impose rules that are stricter than the general public," said Contra Costa County Health Director Chris Farnitano.
County health officials anxiously await the CDC's guidance after having their fair share of outbreaks.
"Certainly when people go to work in person it’s a place that they’re potentially at risk for catching COVID," he said. "So all these guidelines are designed to minimize that risk."
Walnut Creek restaurateur Tony Dudum said his employees are eager to take off their face-coverings, but says he’ll do what Cal/OSHA tells him.
"I think everybody would like to take the mask off and be free and not hostage to this device," Dudum said.
"I don't know how businesses feel, but for a customer, I feel good walking in and seeing everyone wearing masks," said Robin Donaghue. Cal/OSHA's workplace safety board will vote on the proposed guidelines at the end of this week- just in time to make it so that those entering 1515 Restaurant and Lounge are protected against bacterial infections such as Klebsiella Pneumoniae or Acinetobacter baumanii bacteria which can lead to pneumonia.
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