Virginia Adopts Workplace Safety Standards for COVID-19 Pandemic

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On July 15, the Virginia Department of Labor and Industry’s Safety and Health Codes Board voted to approve an emergency temporary standard on infectious disease prevention.  The final version of the standard is currently not available due to the text being finalized.  It is anticipated the emergency temporary standard will take effect the last week of July.  This standard shall apply to every employer, employee and place of employment in the Commonwealth of Virginia within the jurisdiction of the VOSH program. 

Although the specific text of the standard is not yet available, according to Governor Northam’s press release, the new standards will require employers to:

  • Mandate social distancing and face coverings for employees in customer-facing positions when social distancing is not possible
  • Provide frequent access to hand washing or hand sanitizer
  • Clean high-contact surfaces regularly
  • Notify all employees within 24 hours if a coworker tests positive for the virus
  • Keep employees home for 10 days if they are known or suspected to be positive cannot return to work for 10 days, or until they receive two consecutive negative tests

Training and outreach products are currently being developed by the VOSH Cooperative Programs Division and will be provided as soon as they are available.

We will provide updates on these new standards as they become available. For more information, visit the following website: