To: Mass Senior Care Members
From: Tara M. Gregorio, President
Re: COVID-19 Updates: DPH Update to November 13th Guidance and OSHA Releases Frequently Cited Standards
Date: November 18, 2020
Update to November 13 Guidance for Caring for Long-Term Care
Residents During the COVID-19 Emergency
Today, the Department of Public Health updated previously-issued guidance from November 13th regarding admissions, safety protocols and use of personal protective equipment (PPE). The updated memorandum clarifies that all LTCF staff must use appropriate PPE when interacting with residents, which includes wearing a facemask while in the facility and donning eye protection while in patient care areas. In addition, face mask and face shield/goggles are required for COVID-Recovered Residents (< 6 months from infection).
OSHA Releases Frequently Cited Standards
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) released a one-pager on frequently cited standards related to COVID-19 inspections. Some of these include fit tests for respirators, providing a medical evaluation before fit testing or using a respirator, PPE availability, training on properly using PPE and respirators, reporting, and recording requirements. OSHA encourages employers to learn about OSHA’s On-Site Consultation program that is available at no-cost to employers and provides confidential OSHA services for small and medium-sized business. AHCA/NCAL has provided additional resources on OSHA, including a respiratory protection program template. In addition OSHA has released RESPIRATORY PROTECTION GUIDANCE for the Employers of Those Working in Nursing Homes, Assisted Living, and Other Long-Term Care Facilities During the COVID-19 Pandemic.