Los Angeles, CA

Will Los Angeles workers be allowed to work mask-free soon?

Eugene Adams

Photo by Nathan Dumlao on Unsplash

Government bureaucracy is notoriously slow. That’s one of the people’s biggest frustrations with the government in general. 

Thankfully, Los Angeles residents can be happy with bureaucracy for once. 

Last week, Cal/OSHA released new masking rules for workers. The rules made many people unhappy. 

Those rules have now been withdrawn. 

Old Workplace Mask Rules

With Los Angeles and the rest of California set to reopen on June 15th, it was time to update workplace mask rules. 

That was a job for The California Occupational Safety and Health Standards Board(Cal/OSHA). Unfortunately, they got it wrong the first time. 

They wanted most workers to keep their masks on during work

The only expectation was workers who had no interaction with the public. They were allowed to unmask only if every one of their coworkers was vaccinated. 

Only a tiny fraction of workers fall into that group. The rest would be required to stay masked. 

New Rules

With rare haste, Cal/OSHA corrected its course.

They withdrew their previous rule on Wednesday

Withdrawing the rule on Wednesday gives them time to come up with better rules. The board will consider changes at its June 17th meeting. Any changes could potentially go into effect by month’s end. 

This will give them a chance to develop rules that are more aligned with Governor Newsom’s plan. Governor Newsom wants to reopen with very few masking and distancing rules. 

According to board chairman David Thomas, the change was made to:

“So that it matches up with the CDC and the California Department of Public Health, so that we’re all on the same page. That’s what this is about, so we’re not out of step with everybody else.”-David Thomas

My Thoughts

I think this is excellent news. Any part of the government rarely gets something right the first time. That’s ok. Nobody is perfect. 

But, the big problem is how slow the government typically is to pivot when they get something wrong. This time, they corrected themselves quickly. 

Los Angeles businesses have been suffering long enough. A big problem the pandemic brought was uncertainty. 

Not knowing tomorrow’s rules has been making a difficult situation even worse for businesses. 

The mismatch between what Governor Newsom says, the CDC, and Cal/OSHA has been confusing, to say the least. 

Los Angeles businesses deserve better. 

It’s time for everyone to get on the same page once and for all. 

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Southern California raised Henderson transplant. I write about all things Henderson.

Henderson, NV

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