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California drops workplace mask rule for vaccinated workers

The California Occupational Safety and Health Standards Board approved revised worksite pandemic rules on a 5-1 vote.

SACRAMENTO, Calif. — California regulators have approved revised worksite pandemic rules that allow fully vaccinated employees the same freedoms as when they are off the job.

The revised regulations adopted Thursday come after weeks of confusion. They conform with general state guidelines by ending most mask rules for people who are vaccinated against the coronavirus.

The California Occupational Safety and Health Standards Board(CalOSHA) approved them on a 5-1 vote.

Tap here to learn more about the revised workplace safety standards.

Shortly after the board’s vote, Gov. Gavin Newsom signed an executive order enabling the revisions to take effect immediately, sidestepping the normal 10-day review period by the Office of Administrative Law.

The emergency regulations will take effect upon their filing with the Secretary of State, the governor’s office said.

Tap here to read the full text of Newsom’s executive order.

The rules apply to almost every workplace in the state. 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.

Unless they show symptoms, fully vaccinated employees do not need to be offered testing or be excluded from work after close contact with a COVID-19-positive person.

Read the full story from the Associated Press.

The California Chamber of Commerce issued a statement in response to the new workplace safety standards: 

“We are grateful for the clarifications made today by Cal/OSHA and the Governor on key issues with regard to eliminating mask requirements for vaccinated employees in most settings, eliminating social distancing requirements, and providing a straightforward method for employers to verify vaccination status. These clarifications are what CalChamber advocated for and will help employers move forward and fully reopen.”

Read more from ABC10

WATCH ALSO: Maskless society? Why you might feel uncomfortable without a mask

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