On July 15, Governor Ralph Northam announced the adoption of statewide emergency workplace safety measures for Virginia. The Virginia Department of Labor and Industry’s Safety and Health Codes Board voted today to approve an emergency temporary standard requiring the following: 

  • 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.

Safety rules are intended to protect Virginia workers by mandating appropriate personal protective equipment, sanitation, social distancing, infectious disease preparedness and response plans. Guidelines also include record keeping, training and hazard communications.

The emergency temporary standards, infectious disease preparedness and response plan templates and training guidance can be found on the Virginia Department of Labor’s website. Workers who feel unsafe at their workplaces can also file formal complaints with the federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration.