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Federal Guidance is Issued for Healthcare Employers

The U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration issued Emergency Temporary Standards (ETS) for healthcare workers that requires non-exempt facilities to conduct hazard assessments, implement a written plan to mitigate virus spread, and provide some employees with N95 respirators or other personal protective equipment. It also requires 6 feet of distance between workers of covered employers. Covered employers also have to provide workers with paid time off to get vaccinated and recover from side effects. The ETS exempts fully vaccinated healthcare workers from masking, social distancing and barrier requirements in "well-defined areas where all employees are fully vaccinated" and there is no reasonable expectation of exposure to a person with a suspected or confirmed case of the coronavirus. For healthcare workers who test positive for COVID-19, covered employers with more than 10 employees must pay their normal salary up to $1,400 a week for the first two weeks if they cannot work remotely, and can vary depending if they are sick for a longer period. Because the ETS is 900 pages, the DOL has issued explanatory material for guidance.

The U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration has announced it will issue an emergency temporary standard to protect healthcare workers from contracting coronavirus. The standard focuses on healthcare workers most likely to have contact with someone infected with the virus. OSHA announced the new standard alongside new general industry guidance, both of which are aligned with Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidance


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