El Dorado remains orange; State expected to drop Blueprint next week

SOUTH LAKE TAHOE, Calif. — El Dorado County will remain in the orange tier until next week when the state plans to retire its Blueprint for a Safer Economy.

State officials announced Tuesday that six counties were moving to lesser restrictive tiers, but El Dorado remained where it has for several weeks.

Overall in the state, there are three counties still in the red “substantial” tier, 31 are in orange (moderate) and 24 are in yellow.

Just four new cases were reported by county officials on Tuesday with 17 assumed recoveries and no additional deaths (115).

More than 40% of the county is fully vaccinated, which is 78,330 out of approximately 193,098 total residents, and more than 48% have had at least one dose.

The state is expected to fully reopen on Tuesday, June 15, which means the Blueprint will no longer be in effect and capacity and social distancing restrictions will be lifted for most businesses and activities. Most sectors may resume operations in compliance with the COVID-19 Prevention Emergency Temporary Standards, public health guidance, and other statewide agency guidelines and standards. Large-scale indoor events will have vaccination verification or pre-entry negative test requirements through Oct. 1.

The Occupational Safety and Health Standards Board on June 3 readopted Cal/OSHA’s revised COVID-19 prevention emergency temporary standards.

Last year, the board adopted health and safety standards to protect workers from COVID-19 but the standards did not consider vaccinations and required testing, quarantining, masking and more to protect workers.

The revised standards are the first update to Cal/OSHA’s temporary COVID-19 prevention requirements adopted in November 2020. The revised standards are expected to go into effect no later than June 15 with some provisions starting on July 31.

“The changes adopted by the board phase out physical distancing and make other adjustments to better align with the state’s June 15 goal to retire the Blueprint. Without these changes, the original standards would be in place until at least Oct. 2,” said an OSHA press release. “These restrictions are no longer required given today’s record low case rates and the fact that we’ve administered 37 million vaccines.”

When it comes to face coverings, when indoors, the revised standards said fully vaccinated workers without COVID-19 symptoms do not need to wear face coverings in a room where everyone else is fully vaccinated and not showing symptoms. However, where there is a mixture of vaccinated and unvaccinated persons in a room, all workers will continue to be required to wear a face covering.

Outdoors, fully vaccinated workers without symptoms do not need to wear face coverings. However, outdoor workers who are not fully vaccinated must continue to wear a face covering when they are less than 6 feet away from another person.

As for physical distancing, the standards say employers can eliminate partitions/barriers for employees working indoors and at outdoor mega events if they provide respirators, such as N95s, to unvaccinated employees for voluntary use. After July 31, physical distancing and barriers are no longer required (except during outbreaks), but employers must provide all unvaccinated employees with N95s for voluntary use.

Employers are still required to maintain a written COVID-19 prevention program and must review the California Department of Public Health’s Interim guidance for Ventilation, Filtration, and Air Quality in Indoor Environments.

Fully vaccinated workers who do not have COVID-19 symptoms no longer need to be excluded from the workplace after a close contact.

COVID-19 prevention training must now include information on how the vaccine is effective at preventing the virus and protecting against both transmission and serious illness or death.

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