New Cal-OSHA Workplace Safety Standards

Friday, June 18, 2021, 4:00am

TO: All Employees

FR: Jeff Banks, AVP for Administration and Finance, Human Resources and Missy Brunetta, Director for Emergency Services and Associate Risk Manager

Cal-OSHA announced yesterday that fully vaccinated employees in most work settings are no longer required to wear a face mask indoors, and physical distancing requirements are also being lifted. Typically, there is a 10-day period before new workplace standards take effect. However, Governor Newsom has signed an executive order expediting the date the new workplace standards go into effect.  
Implementation of the new standards at Sonoma State

The new Cal-OSHA-approved workplace standards mean that effective June 17, 2021, many workplace safety requirements have been revised to align with the state COVID-19 safety program. The new standards establish different workplace requirements between vaccinated employees and those who are unvaccinated or decline to share their vaccination status. 

Beginning on Monday, June 21, SSU employees who self-attest to being fully vaccinated against COVID-19 will not be required to wear a face mask indoors in most campus settings. 

Unvaccinated employees and employees who decline to disclose their vaccination status will be required to continue to wear a face mask. One exception is that unvaccinated employees may remove their face mask indoors to eat or drink, provided they can also maintain a six-foot physical distance from others.

Student Health Center and Children's School

The new Cal-OSHA standards require employees to wear face masks inside the Student Health Center and the Children’s School. Please continue to observe the signage about face mask requirements when entering these buildings. 

Self-attestation of vaccination status
The employee daily wellness screening will be updated to include new questions that allow employees to attest to their vaccination status. The wellness screening will include the option to decline to state vaccination status for individuals who choose not to share.

Changes to signage and other installations
In light of these changes to campus protocols, Facilities Management will remove all COVID-19 related signage that is no longer relevant. Sanitation stations (hand sanitizer and antibacterial wipes) will still be available throughout campus, and our custodial teams will continue to provide frequent sanitation of high-touch surfaces throughout the day. 

Reporting exposures to the COVID monitoring team
Regardless of your vaccination status, all employees should continue to report COVID-19 symptoms or possible exposures to the COVID monitoring team at

Continuing to supporting each other through this transition
The COVID-19 pandemic has affected individuals in many different ways. We encourage our entire Seawolf community to be thoughtful and respectful of each other’s comfort level and desire for personal space. Irrespective of vaccination status, employees may choose to continue to wear a face mask while on campus. There are multiple reasons why a campus colleague might decide to continue wearing a mask on campus. For example, employees with infants and young children at home or those who themselves or a family member have a weakened immune system may prefer to continue wearing a mask. 

No one should make assumptions about any individual’s vaccination status based on their decision to wear a face mask. It is not appropriate for any employee to question or criticize another’s decision to do so. Any person who feels that they are experiencing harassment, criticism, exclusion, or other maltreatment resulting from their decision to wear a face mask or about their vaccination status should report this as soon as possible. You may report such issues to the COVID monitoring team at (707) 664-2684 or Supervisors unsure about managing potential face mask compliance issues should consult with Human Resources.

Many departments on campus can serve as a resource to help answer your questions regarding the new changes in workplace standards. 

  • COVID-19 safety concerns or compliance items can be reported to the COVID monitoring team at or (707) 664-COVI (2684)
  • Employee compliance or accommodation requests can be reported to Human Resources at 

COVID-19 safety process questions can be sent to Risk Management and Safety Services at