On June 21, The U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) released an expansive new emergency temporary standard (ETS) for those who provide healthcare services or healthcare support services. Effective immediately, the new standard was created to protect health care service workers from COVID-19. Some of the major requirements Included in the ETS is developing a COVID-19 plan, patient screening and management, physical barriers, and vaccination rules. There is an exception to the written COVID-19 plan requirements, if you are a non-hospital ambulatory care setting who screens out all patients (non-employees) who may have COVID-19.
Non-hospital ambulatory care settings include community clinics, vision clinics, dental clinics, and mental health clinics. Those facilities are required to screen all non-employees prior to entry and not allow people with suspected or confirmed COVID-19 to enter. Review this workflow to find out if your workplace is covered by the COVID-19 Healthcare ETS.
Additionally, OSHA issued an updated guidance (June 10, 2021) for employers who are in other industries that are not healthcare related. According to OSHA, except for healthcare workplaces covered by the ETS and mask requirements for public transportation, most employers no longer need to take steps to protect their workers from COVID-19 exposure in the workplace.