May 4, 2021
Dear Superintendents and School Leaders,

In my last message, I provided information on a potential conflict between Cal/OSHA’s emergency temporary standards (ETS) and the local COVID-19 decision tree on the requirements for quarantine of employees who have had close contact with an individual who has COVID-19.
  • Based on the local public health order on quarantine, the decision tree allows a 10-day quarantine option and an exception from quarantine for people who are fully vaccinated.
  • The ETS appears to require that employees quarantine for 14 days following close contact, without allowing these options.

Yesterday the California Department of Public Health released an updated version of its public health recommendations for fully vaccinated people, which includes the following statements:
  • Following a known exposure at work, fully vaccinated workers do not need to quarantine if asymptomatic.
  • In the workplace, employers subject to the Cal/OSHA COVID-19 Prevention ETS must ensure that employees are following the current ETS face-covering and testing requirements.

The San Diego County Office of Education (SDCOE) has been informed by the County of San Diego that this guidance may not be sufficient to change how the ETS are interpreted and applied. As a consequence, the decision tree will be revised to differentiate between the quarantine decisions that can be made for students and those that are required for employees. We will share the updated document with you when it is available.

We’re also told that Cal/OSHA is expected to release a revised set of emergency temporary standards on May 20. For a more complete review of this topic, please see this slide deck that SDCOE Special Projects Coordinator Bob Mueller presented during today's K-12 Education Sector telebriefing.

Thank you for all you are doing during these unprecedented times. As always, please let me know if you have any questions or need support.


Dr. Paul Gothold
San Diego County Superintendent of Schools
phone: 858-295-6641