Last week, Governor Northam’s office announced the enactment of permanent COVID-19 workplace health and safety rules for the duration of the pandemic.
The permanent standards align closely with the emergency temporary rules adopted in July and are intended to slow the transmission of COVID-19 and protect Virginia workers. The temporary standards were effective for six months and the Virginia Department of Labor and Industry’s Safety and Health Codes Board worked to make permanent through the process defined in state law. These workplace safety requirements will remain effective throughout the pandemic. The Board will reconvene within 14 days of the expiration of Governor Northam’s COVID-19 emergency declaration to determine whether there is a continued need for the standard.
In addition to requiring all public-facing employees to wear masks, the standards ensure ready access to hand sanitizer and the regular cleaning of common workspaces. Employers must train employees on COVID-19 safety and develop infectious disease and preparedness response plans. The new permanent regulations include guidelines for returning to work and communicating about employees who test positive and potential exposures. The Virginia Department of Labor and Industry will enforce the permanent standard.
The updated rules for workplace health and safety can be found here.
*Information as of 02/01/21