July 15, 2021

OSHA: No Changes to COVID-19 Standard "At This Time"

A statement on OSHA’s website says the agency has reviewed the latest guidance, science, and data on COVID-19 and has consulted with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention through NIOSH regarding the requirements of its COVID-19 emergency temporary standard for healthcare settings, which went into effect on June 21. OSHA’s COVID-19 ETS webpage states that the agency “has determined that no changes to the ETS are necessary at this time.”

“Neither CDC’s guidance on healthcare settings nor the underlying science and data on COVID-19 in healthcare settings has materially changed in a way to necessitate changes in the health and safety requirements contained in the ETS,” OSHA’s website states.

The agency intends to monitor and assess the need for changes to the ETS on a monthly basis.

Last week, OSHA announced a 30-day extension to the comment period for the COVID-19 ETS to allow stakeholders additional time to review the standard and provide feedback. Comments are now due by Aug. 20, 2021. Instructions for submitting comments can be found in the agency’s press release or on the OSHA website.

Two petitions seeking federal court review of OSHA's ETS have been filed by labor organizations, as described in an article published yesterday by The National Law Review. The lawsuits argue that the rule's application to healthcare settings is too narrow. Currently, employers have until July 21 to comply with all requirements of the ETS.