Virginia Updates COVID-19 Workplace Standards

Last week Virginia Governor Glenn Youngkin released new draft COVID-19 guidance for employers has now replaced the regulations adopted by the Department of Labor and Industry Safety and Health Codes Board. The Safety and Health Codes Board met on Monday, March 21st to consider the proposed revocation and voted to repeal the permanent COVID-19 workplace standard.

Virginia was the first state in the country to implement emergency COVID-19 standards but will now defer to federal rule-makers and existing state workplace safety rules. Board members found in a February meeting that the disease no longer meets the legal standard of posing a “grave danger” to workers.

The guidance document drafted by the governor’s administration simply encourages employers to deploy a series of mitigation efforts to fight COVID-19 in the workplace. For example, the guidance suggests that employers “facilitate” vaccinations and booster shots for employees, “encourage” workers with COVID-19 symptoms to remain home, and provide masks and face coverings “as appropriate.” The draft of the guidance document can be viewed here.

Download Bulletin PDF