Santa Rosa, CA – June 14, 2021 – Sonoma County offices will open to the public full time beginning on Tuesday, June 15, following nearly 15 months of limited in-person access due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Members of the public and employees, however, will still be required to wear facial coverings for the time being when entering county facilities.
On June 9, the California Department of Public Health’s released new mask guidance which will go into effect on June 15 and aligns with guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. According to the guidance, masks will continue to be required for everyone on public transit, in K-12 schools, child care and other youth settings, health care settings and long-term care facilities, correctional facilities, homeless shelters, emergency shelters, and cooling centers. Other businesses can choose whether or not to require patrons to wear masks.
However, California Department of Public Health (CDPH) guidance and the OSHA Emergency Temporary Standard, which outlines the requirements for employees, are not in alignment at this time. On Wednesday, June 9, the Occupational Safety and Health Standards Board held a special meeting to hear from CDPH on new face covering guidance. The board decided to withdraw revisions to the Emergency Temporary Standards that were previously sent to the Office of Administrative Law in order to update Cal/OSHA’s COVID-19 prevention requirements with the latest guidance. The board posted new revisions on June 11 that incorporate the latest public health guidance. The revisions will be considered at the board’s regular meeting on June 17. In the meantime, the protections adopted in November of 2020 will remain in effect.
For the time being, the County will continue to adhere to the Site Specific Protection Plan that can be found in Stay at Home Order (C19-15): Appendix A. This means that safety mitigation measures, including physical distancing and face coverings, will be required for employees and patrons in County offices. This will allow time for the State to align the guidance issued from CDPH and Cal/OSHA.