On July 15, 2020, the Virginia Department of Labor and Industry’s Safety and Health Codes Board voted to approve an emergency temporary standard on infectious disease prevention (§16 VAC 25‐220), becoming the first state to enact comprehensive COVID-19 workplace safety requirements. The regulation comes after Virginia Governor Ralph Northam directed the creation of enforceable workplace safety regulations in May. The final standard will become effective upon publication, which is expected next week.
COVID-19 has reached virtually the entire country, and both employers and employees in a broad range of industries have experienced outbreaks. At the same time, the government and private sector continue to take steps to slow the virus’s spread and protect employees while adapting to the new business environment. In recognition of the unique challenges posed by COVID-19, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) is applying updated guidance in an effort to provide additional clarity to employers and workers.