COVID-19 Healthcare Rulemaking

On June 21, 2021, OSHA published an interim final rule establishing an emergency temporary standard (ETS) to protect healthcare and healthcare support service workers from occupational exposure to COVID-19 in settings where people with COVID-19 are reasonably expected to be present (86 FR 32376). The ETS took effect immediately but also served as a proposed rule on which OSHA requested comment. OSHA received comments concerning the ETS during the comment period, which was to end on July 21, 2021, but was extended to August 20, 2021, in response to requests from the public (86 FR 38232). In accordance with 29 USC 655(c)(3), the agency is now preparing to promulgate a final standard.

On March 22, 2022, OSHA announced a limited reopening of the record, permitting the submission of additional comments from stakeholders to the rulemaking docket (OSHA-2020-0004) until April 22, 2022. Stakeholders were also invited to submit a notice of intention to appear (NOITA) to testify during the informal public hearing. The deadline for submitting NOITAs was April 6, 2022. Stakeholders who submitted a timely NOITA were scheduled to testify during the informal public hearing during the days and times provided on the hearing schedule. The hearing took place Wednesday, April 27, 2022, through Monday, May 2, 2022. (Find Hearing Recordings and Transcripts.)

At the conclusion of the informal public hearing on May 2, 2022, OSHA reopened the docket to allow for submission of post-hearing comments and briefs. In accordance with the hearing procedures (see OSHA-2020-0004-1973), this provided the opportunity for any stakeholder (i.e., regardless of whether or not the stakeholder filed a Notice of Intention to Appear) to submit additional information, data relevant to the proceeding, and final written briefs. The deadline for submissions was May 23, 2022.