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Newsom: Vaccinated workers can go without masks starting June 17, pending Cal/OSHA vote

Gov. Newsom said on Monday that if Cal/OSHA approves the new guidelines, he will sign an executive order to let them start immediately.

SACRAMENTO, Calif. — After Thursday, June 17, California workers could be allowed to go fully maskless, pending a vote from Cal/OSHA, according to Gov. Gavin Newsom.

Newsom said that if Cal/OSHA votes to adopt the guidelines they published on Friday, June 11, then he will sign an executive order to make things more clear.

The new guidelines that Cal-OSHA is set to approve on Thursday at their meeting would let fully vaccinated workers in California not wear masks at work and would also end social distancing. Anyone who is not fully vaccinated will still have to wear masks while working indoors and in vehicles when other people are inside.

If they pass those guidelines on the 17th, they wouldn't be able to go into effect until June 28, so Newsom says he will sign an executive order that day to make sure everything is clear.

"That should clear up any ambiguity if they take the action that was highlighted on Friday," Newsom said in a press conference on Monday. "We will be consistent with the CDC guidelines."

Workers can still request masks from their employers at no cost under the new guidelines, and they will still be allowed to wear masks at work regardless of their vaccination status.

The California Nurse's Association (CNA) is also urging the public to continue to wear masks, especially since not even half of the United States population is fully vaccinated and kids under the age of 12 still can't get vaccinated, according to a statement.

"Please, please just keep your masks on when you are indoors and in crowds,” Zenei Triunfo-Cortez, RN and a president of CNA, said in the statement. “It’s such a simple but effective way of preventing COVID-19. This pandemic is not over."

Cal-OSHA will vote on the new guidelines on Thursday, two days after the state lifts its COVID-19 restrictions.

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