SILVER SPRING, MD -
The American Nurses Association (ANA) thanks Chairman Scott and Chairwoman Adams for their efforts to support nurses and all healthcare personnel who are continuing to serve on the frontlines of the pandemic.
ANA has consistently requested the Occupational Safety and Health Administration’s (OSHA) use its authority to prevent COVID-19 infection in health care delivery. ANA again calls for the Emergency Temporary Standard (ETS) to remain in place during the public health emergency, or until a permanent standard is implemented and enforced. The ETS sets clear and enforceable requirements for COVID-19 prevention in hospitals, home health, community clinics, and other health care delivery sites. The ETS expired on December 21, 2021, while the Omicron surge has intensified. The failure to extend the ETS exposes nurses and other health care personnel to the grave dangers in the workplace that required OSHA to act in June 2021.
ANA supports a permanent standard that ensures workplace protection against all infectious agents to which nurses may be exposed when delivering healthcare, including evidence-based respiratory protections for all types of transmission. Until the permanent standard is implemented we implore the Biden Administration to reverse the decision to withdraw the ETS. Removing protections during one of the worst waves of this pandemic leaves nurses and other frontline personnel unnecessarily vulnerable when they have been and continue to be the backbone of the COVID-19 response since it began nearly two years ago.
We appreciate the Administration’s efforts to stand up for all for the health care workers in our communities during this pandemic and urgently request the reimplementation of the Emergency Temporary Standard.
The American Nurses Association (ANA) is the premier organization representing the interests of the nation's 4.3 million registered nurses. ANA advances the profession by fostering high standards of nursing practice, promoting a safe and ethical work environment, bolstering the health and wellness of nurses, and advocating on health care issues that affect nurses and the public. ANA is at the forefront of improving the quality of health care for all. For more information, visit www.nursingworld.org.
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