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'A Little Overkill': New California Workplace Mask Rules Cause Confusion For Some

SACRAMENTO (CBS13) – The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says fully vaccinated people can do without masks in most situations, but with California's economy set to fully reopen June 15, state regulators say even if one employee in a room isn't vaccinated, everyone has to put on a face covering.

"It's confusing me right now," said Dan Delong.

Delong is anxious for June 15 to arrive so people can get back out and enjoy company with friends and family. But now he's a little confused on what to do when it comes to wearing a mask, especially now with the California Occupational Safety and Health Standards Board's (Cal/OSHA) new rules.

After a marathon meeting Thursday, Cal/OSHA has decided to allow workers to go maskless as long as everyone is fully vaccinated. But if one person isn't, everyone must still wear a mask.

"That seems a little overkill to me. If everyone is vaccinated and just one person isn't maybe send that person home until they get vaccinated," Delong said.

Poll: Do You Agree With California's Decision On Masks In The Workplace?

"We want the best for everyone," said Carmela Cervantes, the general manager of Broderick. "It's a little frustrating that we get two sets of information, so we are still deciding on where our policy is going to end. We definitely want to make sure that we are clear on what we are looking for, our customers and our safety of our staff."

Cal/OSHA has authority over almost every workplace in the state, meaning rules set forth must be followed by all employees within a business.

The changes are causing a lot of uncertainty.

"I do anticipate a lot of customers being confused themselves," Cervantes said.

"I'm more comfortable wearing my mask when I go into places because that's what we have gotten used to over the last year," said Maxine Bless.

Bless is fully vaccinated and sees no issue with continuing wearing a face covering at work if necessary.

"I think it's good. It's our way of helping each other, so the idea if there is one person at work that is not vaccinated, well then, we should wear a mask to protect that person," she said.

The new guidance would take effect on June 15, but Gov. Gavin Newsom does have the power to amend the rules.

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