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On January 12, the Virginia Safety and Health Codes Board approved the state’s permanent rule on COVID-19 workplace safety requirements. The measure was approved 9-4 and makes Virginia the first state in the country with a permanent rule on the issue. Virginia was also the first state to enact a temporary COVID-19 standard.
The permanent standard closely follows the temporary standard. Employers are required to create and implement a workplace infection protection program and train employees on the requirements. The standard also requires social distancing, cleaning and disinfection protocols, and the use of face masks in the workplace and classifies jobs into high, medium, or low risk categories. The higher the risk, the stricter the requirements are for workplace protections.
The permanent rule is expected to go into effect by January 26, when the temporary standard expires.