Skip to comments.Biden Admin Moves to Make Expired COVID Rules for Health Care Workers Permanent
Posted on 12/14/2022 12:12:50 PM PST by lightman
In its latest effort to make permanent pandemic-era mandates for health care workers, the federal agency regulating workplace safety has submitted a final draft of rules to the White House budget office for review.
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), which sees exposure to COVID-19 as a matter of workplace safety, in June 2021 issued a temporary emergency standard for health care facilities that include requirements around screening, ventilation, physical distancing, physical barriers, cleaning and disinfection, and masks.
In December 2021, however, OSHA announced that it would stop enforcing all temporary emergency standard requirements except for a few related to record keeping, since it was impossible to meet a six-month deadline to finalize the standard. The agency has since been working toward a permanent regulatory solution while considering “broader infectious disease rulemaking.”
On Dec. 9, almost a year after the initial withdrawal, OSHA sent a final draft to the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs at the White House Office of Management and Budget for review.
Although details of the final draft have yet to be shared with the public, an earlier draft required employers to enforce physical distancing, make sure workers wear masks except when they’re alone, grant paid leave for vaccination, and provide medical removal protection for workers who are unable to work due to COVID-19 infection or exposure.
The push for a permanent COVID-19 standard has been met with mixed reactions, including disappointment from employer groups and cheers from labor unions.
National Nurses United, the largest nursing union in the United States, applauded the move, arguing that its members and patients in their care are still under the threat of “new, more immune-evasive” variants of COVID-19.
“The COVID-19 pandemic is not over,” the union said in a Dec. 8 statement. “Nurses, other health care workers, and their patients remain at risk of COVID exposure, infection, illness, and death because their employers continue to fail to fully protect them.”
The union also laid out a list of specific measures it wants the permanent standard to include, including screening and testing of patients, visitors, and workers; isolation of patients with suspected or confirmed COVID-19; providing personal protective equipment for workers caring for patients with suspected or confirmed COVID-19, contact tracing and notification for COVID-19 exposure; and paid leave for workers who are exposed to or infected with COVID-19.
“Many nurses continue to experience the devastating impacts of long COVID,” said Deborah Burger, president of National Nurses United. “This is why we need a permanent standard and why we must continue to maintain multiple measures of infection control.”
Meanwhile, health care provider organizations such as the American Hospital Association (AHA) argued that there’s no need to establish a permanent COVID-19 standard, since employers have already been complying with the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services’ (CMS) vaccination mandate and following the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) ever-changing guidelines.
“With the constantly evolving, science-based CDC guidance and recommendations, CMS’ vaccination requirement and existing OSHA general standards, we strongly believe that an inconsistent and overly strict OSHA COVID-19 health care standard is not necessary, would cause confusion and will ultimately lower hospital employees’ morale and worsen unprecedented personnel shortages in hospitals,” the AHA said in an April 26 letter to OSHA.
“The AHA does not believe that finalizing the OSHA interim final rule will provide any additional benefit beyond what hospitals have already been doing, and continue to do, to protect their workforce throughout the pandemic and afterwards, as the [Public Health Emergency] ends and COVID-19 becomes endemic,” the group argued. “As such, we urge OSHA not to finalize its interim final rule.”
The anticipate rules also face opposition from Republican members of Congress.
On Sept. 26, Reps. Virginia Foxx (R-N.C.) and Fred Keller (R-Penn.), the top Republicans on House Education and Labor Committee and Workforce Protections Subcommittee, respectively, argued that it’s absurd that OSHA insists to move forward with a COVID-19 rulemaking even after President Joe Biden proclaimed the pandemic to be over.
“This is the height of foolishness,” the Republicans wrote in a Sept. 26 letter to OSHA. “Our health care industry is strained enough as it is without the Biden administration demanding additional and burdensome COVID-19 requirements.”
A lot of people left the workforce because they didn’t want to put up with this crap.
If the crap comes back again, more people will leave. No one wants to be a chew-toy for the government dog.
They cannot give up the power.
No enumerated power for OSHA to exist in the first place.
Why not? Who is going to stop him? The American people? Not a chance. Everyone is quite fine with letting someone else fight the battles. Which is why a bunch of innocent people have been locked up for a year+ for 1/6/21.
The War on Freedom, Personal Responsibility, Health and Religion.
Pretty sure all the nurses who were let go because they wouldn't take the jab disagree with their union.
All part of the plan
Listen at 29 min for $moking gun.
The Whole scam is exposed in this video
( rich in RICO )
Even the propaganda term
New Normal ( tm)
Meanwhile muzzles don’t work.
Are still fomites.
Nosocomial infections are still an issue in healthcare settings.
And every single, sodding time I am in a healthcare setting in my neck of the woods, I see healthcare professionals violating their own infection control protocols with regard to muzzles.
THIS STILL AIN’T ABOUT PROTECTING PUBLIC HEALTH, IS IT?!?
And the people left behind in Afghanistan which is ignored just as much as the Jan. 6th political prisoners.
Control control control!
This makes my blood boil. I am close enough to retirement age to be discriminated against for age, but too far away to be able to retire, have worked in non-clinical nursing roles for past 25 years, not vaccinated and losing current job in a few months. Well screw me I guess. Also of significance- burden of Covid discrimination in practice is placed ON PATIENTS - albeit INCORRECTLY- they mask patients and test them with no choice in matter BUT I have seen MANY patients get sick FROM their hospital stay. In other words- they are getting sick FROM the staff who are usually not masked and are never routinely tested for COVID even though they force patients to test. They are still paying hospitals for every + Covid patient. Money and Control. Deborah Burger is a moron. Forcing a healthcare system crisis via shortage of qualified nursing staff. System is BROKEN. Country is BROKEN. God help us
Hopefully they continue to honor that.
The great socialist reset continues.
The government fully intends to restrict travel, assembly and the right to bear arms.YOu want to travel...to bad...you have to use an electric car. Don’t have one, stay at home ,wear your mask, like you should.
Eff them every one!
testing of patients, visitors, and workers
As a visitor, you can forget that. I do not ever put myself in anyone’s data base. Screw that.
These people are insane. The number one worry they SHOULD have is the hospital friendly MRSA...a helluva lot worse than de Wuhan ever thought it could be.
Two weeks….errr, 30 days…errr, 2 years to stop the spread!
The medical fields are already short of solid workers.....
This will only make things worse.
There are plenty of people coming across the border to fill those positions. Onward, comrade.
There is no such thing as “temporary” when it comes to the government. They just use the word to get you to bow to it, then when you are used to it, they make it permanent.
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