With the end of California's COVID-19 state of emergency on February 28, 2023, the California Department of Public Health (CDPH) recently announced updates to its COVID-19 guidance that include the following significant changes:
- Mask Mandates to End for High-Risk and Healthcare Workers: Beginning on April 3, 2023, masks will no longer be required in indoor high-risk and healthcare settings, including long-term care and correctional facilities, and homeless, emergency, and warming/cooling centers.
- Vaccine Mandates to End for Healthcare Workers: Beginning on April 3, 2023, California will no longer require COVID-19 vaccination for healthcare workers, including those in adult care, direct care, correctional facilities, and detention centers. Federal rules will continue to ensure that most healthcare workers remain vaccinated for COVID-19.
- Isolation Period: Beginning on March 13, 2023, a COVID-19 positive person may end isolation after five days if they feel well, have improving symptoms, and are fever-free for 24 hours. This change removes the previous CDPH recommendation to test in order to leave isolation before Day 10. Additionally, the new CDPH guidance allows recovered COVID cases to cease mask-wearing after ending isolation before Day 10 if they test negative twice in a row, with the two sequential negative tests at least one day apart. These changes are in alignment with the CDC recommendation that also takes effect on March 13, 2023.
- Hospital Surge Order Rescinded: On April 3, 2023, the CDPH will rescind an order that required hospitals statewide to accept transfer patients from facilities with limited ICU capacities.
Although the CDPH noted that California has begun to wind down some of its underutilized emergency COVID-19 supports, the announcement expressly reminded Californians that they will continue to have access to vaccines, testing, and treatment for COVID-19 through providers, some pharmacies, and at some sites within local communities.
As a reminder, employers should be sure to comply with local county and city orders that may still be more restrictive than the statewide CDPH guidance.
As always, DWT will continue to monitor these issues and provide updates on COVID-19 regulations as needed. In the meantime, if you have any questions about your company's compliance, please contact a member of the DWT employment services group.