Some frustration over Cal/OSHA rules: ‘We just need a clear message’

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CENTRAL VALLEY, Calif. (KSEE) – On Wednesday, the California Division of Occupational Safety and Health (Cal/OSHA) withdrew its controversial mask rule that would allow employees to take off their masks only if all employees in the room were vaccinated. But now, rules from November will still be in place past June 15, the day the state plans to fully reopen its economy.

Cal/OSHA is planning to introduce a new proposal at its next meeting on June 17.

“We anticipate that there will be a new ruling hopefully that aligns with the state guidance, but it would not go into effect until June 28,” Madera County Public Health Director Sara Bosse said.

State health officials said that on June 15, those who are fully vaccinated will be able to take their masks off except for certain settings.

However, per Cal/OSHA, rules from November will stay in place for employees in the workplace until new proposals are adopted. That means employees will still have to wear masks and social distance in the workplace.

“It’s extremely confusing. I mean the governor is saying one thing, Cal/OSHA is saying another, and then Cal/OSHA has another meeting and they’re saying something else, so we just need a clear message. We need to know how we can plan,” California Restaurant Association Fresno Chapter President Chuck Van Fleet said.

June 15 is a day many have looked to as the day when the state reopens at full capacity and when masks can come off for those who are fully vaccinated.

“I feel completely comfortable with that. I’m vaccinated. I feel like we’ve worn masks long enough. We don’t need to be right next to people that we don’t know but I feel comfortable being in public, I feel comfortable being at restaurants and movie theaters and things like that. I think we’re ready,” Fresno resident Martina Ramirez said.

And as the state gets closer to June 15, health officials are urging residents to get vaccinated.

“I think the most important thing to do is to go and get vaccinated,” Bosse said.

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July 23 2021 05:30 pm

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