On April 13, 2023, UPE met with the County to discuss the updated COVID-19 guideline. The guidelines come as a result of the recent Californian Department of Public Health (CDPH) announcements.
The most significant change was the isolation timeline. According to the new guidelines, a COVID-19-positive person may end isolation and return to work after five (5) days if they feel well, have improving symptoms, and are fever-free for 24 hours without the use of fever-reducing medication. A negative test to return is not required. However, workers would still be required to wear a mask for a total of 10 days after infection.
We also discussed the changes to the close contact definition and the protocol for masks when identified as close contact. Masks are not required but strongly recommended when deemed as a close contact to a COVID-19 case. However, they are required when a location is in outbreak or major outbreak status.
UPE and the County also discussed the County’s intention to eliminate the two hours of County time to get tested. The County claims because they have an adequate number of tests for departments to proctor at the worksites, the allotted time is no longer necessary. If a test is unavailable, the County would then allow County time to go tested. Employees wishing to use their own medical provider would be required to use leave balances. UPE has grave concerns regarding this new change. Therefore, UPE proposed the County to allow county time to test in the event workers are being required to test. Our members should have the option to choose how and where they receive a COVID-19 test and should not be mandated to use a county test that may or may not be expired. However, the County confirmed the two hours allotted to receive a COVID-19 vaccine will remain.
The County will take back our proposal and respond to UPE accordingly.
Thank you to our members, Jennifer Avalo, Daniel De Los Reyes, Stephanie McCall, Nichole Gorman, Patrick Hunter, and Chris Jenkins, for their advocacy on this matter.