Administrative Code

Creating a Report: Check the sections you'd like to appear in the report, then use the "Create Report" button at the bottom of the page to generate your report. Once the report is generated you'll then have the option to download it as a pdf, print or email the report.

Virginia Administrative Code
Title 16. Labor And Employment
Agency 25. Safety And Health Codes Board
Chapter 220. Standard for Infectious Disease Prevention of the SARS-CoV-2 Virus that Causes COVID-19
9/27/2021

16VAC25-220-60. Requirements for higher-risk workplaces.

A. The requirements in this section for employers with higher-risk workplaces with mixed-vaccination status employees apply in addition to requirements contained in 16VAC25-220-40, 16VAC25-220-70, and 16VAC25-220-80.

Employers shall take the additional steps in subsections B, C, and D of this section to mitigate the spread of COVID-19 for employees who are not fully vaccinated, employees who are fully vaccinated but work in a place of employment with substantial or high community transmission, and otherwise at-risk employees in workplaces (which include, but are not limited to, manufacturing, meat and poultry processing, high-volume retail and grocery, transit, seafood processing, correctional facilities, jails, detention centers, and juvenile detention centers) where there is heightened risk due to the following types of factors:

1. Where employees who are not fully vaccinated or otherwise at-risk employees are working close to one another, for example, on production or assembly lines. Such workers may also be near one another at other times, such as when clocking in or out, during breaks, or in locker or changing rooms.

2. Where employees who are not fully vaccinated or otherwise at-risk workers often have prolonged closeness to coworkers or potential frequent contact with members of the public who may not be fully vaccinated.

3. Where employees who are not fully vaccinated or otherwise at-risk workers work in enclosed indoor spaces with inadequate ventilation where other coworkers or members of the public are present.

4. Where employees who are not fully vaccinated or otherwise at-risk employees may be exposed to the infectious virus through respiratory droplets or aerosols in the air, for example, when working next to employees who are not fully vaccinated or otherwise at-risk employees in a manufacturing or factory setting who have the virus. It is also possible that exposure could occur from contact with contaminated surfaces or objects, such as tools, workstations, or break room tables. Shared spaces such as break rooms, locker rooms, and entrances or exits to the facility may contribute to their risk.

5. Other distinctive factors that may increase risk among these employees who are not fully vaccinated or otherwise at-risk employees include:

a. A common practice at some workplaces of sharing employer-provided transportation such as ride-share vans or shuttle vehicles; and

b. Communal housing or living quarters onboard vessels with other employees who are not fully vaccinated or otherwise at-risk individuals.

B. Engineering controls.

1. Employers shall ensure that air-handling systems under their control:

a. Are maintained in accordance with the manufacturer's instructions; and

b. Where feasible and within the design parameters of the system, are utilized as follows:

(1) Increase total airflow supply to occupied spaces provided that a greater hazard is not created (e.g., airflow that is increased too much may make doors harder to open or may blow doors open);

(2) In ground transportation settings, use natural ventilation to increase outdoor air dilution of inside air in a manner that will aid in mitigating the spread of SARS-CoV-2 virus and COVID-19 disease transmission to employees and when environmental conditions and transportation safety and health requirements allow;

(3) Inspect filter housing and racks to ensure appropriate filter fit and check for ways to minimize filter bypass;

(4) Increase air filtration to as high as possible in a manner that will still enable the system to provide airflow rates as the system design requires. Ensure compliance with higher filtration values is allowed by the air handler manufacturer's installation instructions and listing;

(5) Generate clean-to-less-clean air movements by re-evaluating the positioning of supply and exhaust air diffusers and/or dampers and adjusting zone supply and exhaust flow rates to establish measurable pressure differentials;

(6) Have staff work in "clean" ventilation zones that do not include higher-risk areas such as visitor reception or exercise facilities (if open);

(7) Ensure exhaust fans in restroom facilities are functional and operating continuously when the building is occupied;

(8) If the system's design can accommodate such an adjustment and is allowed by the air handler manufacturer's installation instructions and listing, improve central air filtration to MERV-13 and seal edges of the filter to limit bypass; and

(9) Check filters to ensure they are within service life and appropriately installed.

c. Comply with USBC and applicable referenced American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE) Standards.

2. Where feasible, employers shall install physical barriers (e.g., such as clear plastic sneeze guards, etc.) for employees who are not fully vaccinated or otherwise at-risk employees, where such barriers will aid in mitigating the spread of SARS-CoV-2 virus transmission.

3. In workplaces (or well-defined work areas) with processing or assembly lines where there are employees who are not fully vaccinated or otherwise at-risk employees, working on food processing or assembly lines can result in virus exposure because these workplaces have often been designed for a number of employees to stand next to or across from each other to maximize productivity. Employers shall ensure proper spacing of employee who are not fully vaccinated or otherwise at-risk employees (or if not possible, appropriate use of barriers).

C. Administrative and work practice controls. To the extent feasible, employers shall implement the following administrative and work practice controls in all higher-risk workplaces where there are employees who are not fully vaccinated or otherwise at-risk employees:

1. Prior to the commencement of each work shift, prescreening or surveying shall be required to verify each covered employee does not have signs or symptoms of COVID-19.

2. Provide face coverings to suspected COVID-19 non-employees to contain respiratory secretions until the non-employees are able to leave the site (i.e., for medical evaluation and care or to return home).

3. Stagger break times or provide temporary break areas and restrooms to avoid groups of employees who are not fully vaccinated or otherwise at-risk employees congregating during breaks. Employees who are not fully vaccinated or otherwise at-risk employees shall maintain at least six feet of distance from others at all times, including on breaks.

4. Stagger employee's arrival and departure times to avoid congregations of employees who are not fully vaccinated or otherwise at-risk in parking areas, locker rooms, and near time clocks.

5. Implement flexible work hours (e.g., staggered shifts).

6. Provide visual cues (e.g., floor markings, signs) as a reminder to maintain physical distancing.

7. In retail workplaces (or well-defined work areas within retail) where there are employees who are not fully vaccinated, fully vaccinated employees in areas of substantial or high community transmission, or otherwise at-risk employees:

a. Post signage requiring face coverings for employees who are not fully vaccinated (or unknown-status) and fully vaccinated employees in areas of substantial or high community transmission and requesting face coverings for customers and other visitors.

b. Require physical distancing from other people who are not known to be fully vaccinated. If distancing is not possible, implement the use of barriers between work stations used by employees who are not fully vaccinated or otherwise at-risk employees and the locations customers will stand, with pass-through openings at the bottom, if possible.

c. Move the electronic payment terminal or credit card reader farther away from any employees who are not fully vaccinated or otherwise at-risk employees in order to increase the distance between customers and such employees, if possible.

d. Shift primary stocking activities of employees who are not fully vaccinated or otherwise at-risk employees to off-peak or after hours when possible to reduce contact between employees who are not fully vaccinated or otherwise at-risk employees and customers.

8. Deliver services remotely (e.g., phone, video, internet, etc.).

9. Deliver products through curbside pick-up or delivery.

D. Personal protective equipment. This subsection does not apply to fully vaccinated employees. Otherwise, employers covered by this section and not otherwise covered by the VOSH Standards for General Industry (16VAC25-90-1910.132) shall comply with the requirements of this subsection for a SARS-CoV-2 virus and COVID-19 disease related hazard assessment and personal protective equipment selection.

1. Employers shall assess the workplace to determine if SARS-CoV-2 virus or COVID-19 disease hazards or job tasks are present or are likely to be present that necessitate the use of personal protective equipment (PPE). Employers shall provide for employee and employee representative involvement in the assessment process. If such hazards or job tasks are present or likely to be present, employers shall:

a. Except as otherwise required in the chapter, select and have each affected employee use the types of PPE that will protect the affected employee from the SARS-CoV-2 virus or COVID-19 disease hazards identified in the hazard assessment;

b. Communicate selection decisions to each affected employee; and

c. Select PPE that properly fits each affected employee.

2. Employers shall verify that the required SARS-CoV-2 virus and COVID-19 disease workplace hazard assessment has been performed through a written certification that identifies the workplace evaluated; the person certifying that the evaluation has been performed; the date of the hazard assessment; and the document as a certification of hazard assessment.

3. Unless specifically addressed by an industry specific standard applicable to the employer and providing for PPE protections to employees from the SARS-CoV-2 virus or COVID-19 disease (e.g., 16VAC25-175-1926, 16VAC25-190-1928, 16VAC25-100-1915, 16VAC25-120-1917, or 16VAC25-130-1918), the requirements of 16VAC25-90-1910.132 (General requirements) and 16VAC25-90-1910.134 (Respiratory protection) shall apply to all employers for that purpose.

4. PPE ensembles for employees will vary by work task, the results of the employer's hazard assessment, and the types of exposures employees have on the job.

Statutory Authority

§ 40.1-22 of the Code of Virginia.

Historical Notes

Derived from Virginia Register Volume 37, Issue 13, eff. January 27, 2021; amended, Virginia Register Volume 38, Issue 3, eff. September 8, 2021.

Website addresses provided in the Virginia Administrative Code to documents incorporated by reference are for the reader's convenience only, may not necessarily be active or current, and should not be relied upon. To ensure the information incorporated by reference is accurate, the reader is encouraged to use the source document described in the regulation.

As a service to the public, the Virginia Administrative Code is provided online by the Virginia General Assembly. We are unable to answer legal questions or respond to requests for legal advice, including application of law to specific fact. To understand and protect your legal rights, you should consult an attorney.