Health

California mulls dropping mask, distancing rules at workplaces

California is considering removing the mask and physical distance rules for employees at work if everyone is fully vaccinated.

Discussions took place when employers were considering plans to return employees to work, especially those who went to remote work during a pandemic. It also emphasizes the growing optimism that vaccines can make a big difference fairly quickly.

“For the first time in a while, I feel optimistic,” Dr. Sarah Cody, Santa Clara County Health Officer and Director of Public Health and the first major architect of the US Stay-at-Home Order, told reporters. Told. “For some time it seemed uncertain to me whether the vaccine or its variants would win, and I think the team vaccine is leading, holding the lead and winning.”

California Occupational Safety and Health Standards Committee It is hoped that further steps will be considered to ease the requirements for masking and physical distance of vaccinated workers.

Inside Proposed changes The weight of the board Thursday Morning: If everyone in the room is completely vaccinated and there are no symptoms of COVID-19, workers will no longer need to wear masks. It also eliminates the need for physical distance where all employees are fully vaccinated.

If the board approves the proposal, it will be submitted to the California Administrative Law Office, which will be reviewed within 10 days and a decision will be made on the proposed regulation.

Health and Safety in Current California Emergency Workplaces RulesEffective November 30, when a worker is alone in a room or is eating or drinking, but must be at least 6 feet away from other workers and the outside air supply is maximized. Except, workers are required to wear masks indoors. Workers should also wear masks outdoors when they are less than 6 feet away from someone else.

Current rules generally require workers to be at least 6 feet apart.

The proposed changes are consistent with the California changes Existing mask rules For non-workplace settings where fully vaccinated people are already able to gather in a room, for example a home, without a mask or physical distance.

The workplace safety proposal is more than the recent guidance issued by the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention last week that provided recommendations that vaccinated people would no longer need to wear masks in almost any indoor or outdoor environment. Much more rigorous. The extraordinary effect of vaccines to protect against illness and infection.

Some infectious disease experts have suggested that the mitigation measures proposed in the California workplace can be further relaxed.

They pointed out that fully vaccinated people are highly protected from the coronavirus, even when in close contact with unvaccinated people. Even in the rare cases where vaccinated people are still infected anyway, they are asymptomatic or very mild and unlikely to infect others with the virus. ..

“I feel they are going to be conservative,” said Dr. Robert Kim Farley, a medical epidemiology and infectious disease expert at the UCLA Fielding School of Public Health. “As we go further out and more and more people are vaccinated and go to very low levels of illness circulating in the population, the board may review these recommendations. I think the sex is very high. “

Kim Farley relaxed more restrictions around June 15, when the state intends to fully reopen the economy, adapt to relaxed guidance on the CDC’s masks, and step forward. He said he would support California’s plans to move forward.

Importantly, people in California today are much less likely to get infected than they were during the heyday of the pandemic. California already has one of the lowest daily coronavirus case rates in the United States. Dr. Monica Gandhi, an infectious disease expert at the University of California, San Francisco, says that as a vaccinated person, she will not be unmasked in a crowded crowd in high-incidence areas, but she does. He said he would be fine. Currently in San Francisco, the spread of the virus is very low.

In particular, British scientists, supported by the country’s high immunization rates, Unusual experiment Liverpool allowed thousands of people Negative in test To participate in a virus-crowded music festival No mask Or physical distance.

More than two weeks later, “they didn’t see a rise in the Liverpool incident,” Gandhi said.

Therefore, according to Gandhi, authorities need to consider how to change the rules when there are vaccinated and unvaccinated workers in the same room. According to Gandhi, a mask is obligatory if a certain percentage of the population receives at least one vaccination (such as 70%) and the number of cases of coronavirus per day drops to 2-3 per 100,000. I have an idea to withdraw. residents.

Approximately 51% of California residents have been vaccinated at least once, with a daily case rate of 3.6 coronavirus per 100,000 inhabitants in the state over the past week.

According to Gandhi, setting such benchmarks could alleviate public concerns that the movement is too fast to ease mask obligations. At some point, authorities need to “acknowledge that life can return to normal.”

Even the most cautious local public health authorities in California support an increasingly normal sensation, so potential movements by the California Occupational Safety and Health Standards Commission may come.

“Fully vaccinated: you’re like an armor suit,” LA County Public Health Director Barbara Ferrer told the Supervisory Board. “If you are around many people who are completely vaccinated, unvaccinated and unmasked … you are very unlikely to get infected.”

More studies have shown that the COVID-19 vaccine is effective against mutants. And just this week, two of the state’s most populous counties, Orange and Santa Clara, join the least restrictive layer of California’s four-part, color-coded reopening roadmap, allowing for the widest possible opening so far. I made it.

“It’s very important that we all understand and really rejoice that we have evidence that vaccinated people are very unlikely to spread COVID,” Cody added. It was.

In Los Angeles and Santa Clara counties, home of Silicon Valley and the first recorded COVID-19 deaths in the country, recent test positive rates are only 0.5% and state-wide positive rates of 0.9%. Even better than.

Santa Clara County is one of the highest immunization rates in the state, with 64% of the population receiving at least one vaccination. The proportion of the entire state and LA County is 51%.

As a result, Santa Clara County Relax One of the strictest public health orders in the state. Effective Wednesday, the county withdrew the requirement for businesses to maximize the number of workers working in remote areas.

In LA County, health officials still need to instruct everyone who can work from home to do so.However, as of May 5, LA County has become an insignificant office. Resume up to 75% of capacity Not all staff are fully vaccinated as long as workers can maintain a distance of 6 feet from others. May 6th San Francisco Expansion Office capacity reopened up to 50% of capacity, not including vaccinated workers.

In San Francisco, 68% of the city’s population have been vaccinated at least once, and public health director Dr. Grant Colfax said when 50% received, “a dramatic change in the COVID-19 rate has been seen. I will reduce infections and hospitalizations. A method consistent with experience in Israel and the United Kingdom, two countries with the highest COVID-19 vaccination rates in the world.

State officials still encourage remote work, but the least restrictive layers, the orange and yellow counties, are allowed to reopen offices in less important areas with changes. I will.



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