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5-13-22: Updated to align with revised Cal/OSHA COVID-19 Prevention Emergency Temporary Standards (ETS). Effective 5/6/22, Cal/OSHA requires employers to provide respirators upon request to any employee (regardless of vaccination status) who works indoors or in vehicles with more than one person.

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Introduction

Los Angeles County (LAC) is utilizing both the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) COVID-19 community monitoring impact measures and California SMARTER plan to guide the realignment of our local public health response to focus on reducing medically significant illness and minimizing strain on the healthcare system. See Los Angeles County Post-Surge Dashboard. The core community prevention strategies are in the areas of indoor masking, testing, vaccine verification, and ventilation. Below is a summary of best practices for gyms, fitness centers and other businesses that offer indoor space for exercise to enhance safety for their workers, customers, and communities.

Please be sure to read and follow the general guidance for businesses & employers.
The specific best practices below are intended to supplement the general guidance.

Encourage indoor masking for employees and customers
Wear a mask
  • Masks are strongly recommended indoors: Masks are strongly recommended, but no longer required in most indoor public settings. The purpose of strongly recommending continued indoor masking is to prevent transmission of the virus, particularly to persons with prolonged, cumulative exposures (e.g., workers) and to persons with higher risk of illness. Businesses may choose to continue to require universal indoor masking. See general guidance for businesses & employers for details.
N95 respirator
  • Employees must be provided masks and respirators at no cost to the employee*:
    • In settings where masking is not required, employers must make available and offer well-fitting medical masks and respirators (e.g., N95, KN95, KF94) for voluntary use to employees who work indoors and have close contact with others or in vehicles with more than one person.
    • If a business chooses to maintain an indoor masking requirement, employees must be provided with a well-fitting medical mask.
    • Upon request, employers must provide all employees who work indoors or in vehicles with more than one person with the correct-size N95 respirator for voluntary use along with basic instructions on how to use it.
    • Respirators must be replaced if they lose their tight fit or get damaged, deformed, dirty, wet, or difficult to breathe through.
    • For more information about free and low-cost PPE for businesses and organizations see: http://publichealth.lacounty.gov/docs/FreeAndLowCostPPE.pdf.
* Some independent contractors are considered as employees under the State Labor Code. For more details, check the California Department of Industrial Relations’ Independent contractor versus employee webpage.
Screen customers
Screening
  • Post signage to remind customers that they should NOT enter if they have symptoms of COVID-19 and/or if they test positive.
Reduce crowding indoors
Social distancing
  • Maintain your outdoor service area to enable greater occupancy outdoors where ventilation is better.
  • Consider limiting occupancy in smaller rooms, such as locker rooms, weight rooms, restrooms, and saunas, to reduce the build-up of respiratory fluids in these areas. 
Ventilate
Improve ventilation
  • HVAC Basics. Make sure your building’s HVAC system is in good, working order. Consult your HVAC professional.
    • Use MERV 13 filters in the HVAC system, if possible.
    • Set the HVAC system to use 100% outside air, if possible.
    • Determine the number of Air Changes per Hour (ACH) provided by the HVAC system in the space during the event. A range of 2-6 ACH is recommended, with the higher range needed if less outside fresh air is coming in.
  • Supplement air cleaning. Add portable high-efficiency air cleaners to smaller areas with lower levels of ventilation.
  • When weather and working conditions allow, when safe to do so, increase fresh outdoor air by opening windows and doors. Consider using fans to increase the effectiveness of open windows - position window fans on one side of room and direct them to blow air outward, not inward.
  • Decrease occupancy in indoor areas where ventilation cannot be increased. Consider use of carbon dioxide monitors to monitor the effectiveness of your ventilation in more densely occupied indoor spaces.
  • Keep your background music volume low so that customers and employees do not have to talk loudly to be heard.
  • See State Interim Guidance for Ventilation, Filtration, and Air Quality in Indoor Environments.
Support handwashing
Wash hands
Communicate
Communicate
  • Post signage so that visitors who are entering your establishment are aware of your COVID-19 safety policies.
  • Use your online platforms to communicate your COVID-19 safety policies to the public.

 


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Public Health has made reasonable efforts to provide accurate translation. However, no computerized translation is perfect and is not intended to replace traditional translation methods. If questions arise concerning the accuracy of the information, please refer to the English edition of the website, which is the official version.

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