As a small business employer, there is no denying that workplace health and safety are of paramount importance. The Commonwealth already has comprehensive temporary standards in place. However, establishing onerous permanent regulations for a temporary health emergency is absurd.
As written, the proposed permanent standard will apply to all Virginia businesses indefinitely, including the time when COVID-19 is no longer a declared public health emergency. At such a time when vaccines and treatments are available, the standards will no longer be necessary.
Language must be included that specifically limits application of these measures only to a period of declared public health emergency due to COVID-19.