OSHA! OSHA! OSHA!
In many parts of the country, as rates of COVID-19 are declining and vaccination coverage is increasing (albeit with substantial variation across the US and the world), reopening has commenced. Masking requirements and guidelines have relaxed, gatherings have increased, and we’re entering the post-COVID reality. In healthcare, discussions regarding how to safely relax various interventions put in place during the height of the pandemic are underway: When do we (should we ever) stop active screening of healthcare workers, patients, and visitors? Can we stop requiring admission and pre-procedural asymptomatic screening testing? How does a fully vaccinated workforce affect this relaxation? Can we safely gather? Do we stop social distancing? Will universal facemask use in clinical areas be the new standard practice from here on out? Last week, a massive regulatory curveball crashed into this discussion when OSHA released the Emergency Temporary Standard on COVID-19. Catching m