Executive Vice President
American Hospital Association
June 10, 2021
For more than a year health care workers have battled COVID-19 and worked tirelessly and courageously to care for COVID and non-COVID patients across the country. Their crucial life-saving role has never been more evident than during the course of this pandemic. The safety and protection of all health care workers remains a top priority. The AHA together with hospitals and health systems remains committed to following the science-based and sometimes quickly-evolving guidance issued by the CDC.
Since the start of the pandemic hospitals and health systems have closely followed the science and the CDC recommendations on how to protect health care workers on the front lines and how to protect patients. While we are still reviewing the details of the emergency temporary standard, we appreciate that OSHA acknowledged the science by including CDC’s COVID-19 guidelines and recommendations. The emergency temporary standard provides flexibility to assess the various levels of risk in different parts of the hospital and use personal protective equipment, social distancing, and other protective measures depending on the assessed level of risk.
Throughout the course of the pandemic hospitals have followed strict protocols to ensure the safety of frontline staff and patients. We know that those measures have kept health care workers safe as evident by a JAMA study that found that health care workers were more likely to catch COVID-19 in the community than from the workplace.
Maintaining the health and safety of frontline workers is central to a successful response to the pandemic – and no one has a more vested interest in doing so than the nation’s hospitals.