On May 18, 2021, the Santa Clara County Public Health Department issued an order that requires businesses in the county to check all workers’ COVID-19 (coronavirus) vaccination status. The order took effect on May 19, 2021. For anyone who isn’t fully vaccinated, you must check back at least every 14 days to see if they’re now fully vaccinated. The county has posted an optional Certification of Vaccination Status, which you may use to gather this information. The county doesn’t require any particular form of proof, so you may simply take employees at their word, although you should tell them they must answer honestly. The county’s certification includes this instruction to provide accurate information. As an alternative, you could ask workers to show you a copy of their Centers for Disease Control (CDC) vaccination card or similar record. You must require workers who aren’t fully vaccinated to comply with the county’s Mandatory Directive on Use of Face Coverings (which essentially incorporates the California Department of Public Health’s Guidance for Use of Face Coverings for the general public), and the county’s Mandatory Directive for Unvaccinated Personnel.
The new order also requires you to tell workers to immediately alert you if they test positive for COVID-19 and were present in the workplace (1) within 48 hours before onset of symptoms or the date of a test that turned out to be positive; or (2) within 10 days after onset of symptoms or the date of a test that turned out to be positive. If so, you have 24 hours to report the positive case to the Public Health Department at http://www.sccsafeworkplace.org.
Tips: Workers covered under the county’s new order include not only your employees, but also contractors, subcontractors, volunteers, and others who regularly perform work onsite at your request. The California Health & Human Services Agency (CHHS) has announced that the state is waiting until June 15, 2021, to implement the CDC’s relaxed mask guidelines allowing fully vaccinated people to go without masks in most public indoor settings. More importantly for employers, as we previously reported, the California Occupational Safety & Health Standards Board (OSHSB) is voting today, June 3, 2021, on proposed revisions to Cal/OSHA’s COVID-19 Emergency Temporary Standards (ETS) for non-health care workplaces, to align them with the anticipated June 15 easing of mask requirements. Questions? Contact your Vigilant Law Group employment attorney.