A new public health Covid-19 order announced at 11:30am today by Santa Clara County rescinds a previous, tougher local order and allows employers to more easily comply with new state Occupational Health and Safety mask rules announced last week.
Under today’s order, the May 18, 2021 Local Health Order is rescinded, except for those businesses or governmental entities who have not yet completed two rounds of ascertainment of vaccination status of their personnel—a first round for all personnel and a second round for those who did not indicate they were fully vaccinated, Public Health Officer Dr. Sara Cody announced. For those employers, once the second round is complete, the May 18 Order does not apply to them either.
All entities must maintain their records of compliance for the duration of the Cal/OSHA regulations, the county said.\
Today’s order also includes recommendations "to continue to keep the community safe from COVID-19: (1) get vaccinated; (2) continue to emphasize outdoor activities; (3) avoid travel if you’re not fully vaccinated; and (4) continue to regularly test for COVID-19 if you’re not fully vaccinated and, regardless of vaccination status, get immediately tested if you have COVID-19 symptoms."
“We are pleased that the county’s proactive vaccine ascertainment effort now allows employers in our community the ability to legally implement the new Cal/OSHA regulations,” said county counsel James R. Williams. “With today’s announcement, once an entity has completed its second ascertainment of vaccination status, everyone should continue to follow the state’s rules, but there are no broader local health orders in effect in Santa Clara County.”
The new Cal/OSHA workplace regulations do not require workers who are fully vaccinated to wear face coverings, among many other changes that reflect the efficacy and safety that vaccination provides. "
“The evidence is increasingly clear that getting fully vaccinated is the best thing you can do to keep yourself, your family, and our community safe from COVID-19,” said Cody. “The vaccines work well, even against variants, but it is important to get your second dose if you’re getting a two-dose vaccine because that second dose makes a real difference. If you are not fully vaccinated it is important to continue to wear face coverings indoors. But if you are among the 70% of those age 12 and older in Santa Clara County who are fully vaccinated, you generally do not need to wear a face covering.”
Under the new Cal/OSHA regulations, an employee is considered fully vaccinated if the employer has documentation reflecting that the employee completed a vaccination series at least 14 days after the second dose of the Pfizer or Moderna vaccine.
The May 18 county order that is being phased out requireid all businesses and governmental entities in Santa Clara County to determine the vaccination status of their personnel, such as by way of a simple self-attestation. It did not require reporting of that information to the county, and it allowed individuals the ability to “decline to state” their status, although they are then treated as unvaccinated. Cal/OSHA has explained in FAQs
that a self-attestation like that permitted under the May 18 county order is sufficient documentation to implement its new regulations.
Under the state’s rules
, face coverings are still required—regardless of vaccination status—in healthcare settings; at schools, childcare and youth settings; on public transit; in jails and correctional facilities; and at homeless and emergency shelters.
Santa Clara County has the nation’s highest vaccination rate among large counties, and one of the highest vaccination rates among all counties, according to CDC data. As of June 20, 2021, 80% of residents aged 12 and older have received their first dose, and over 71% of residents aged 12 and older were fully vaccinated.