COVID-19 INFORMATION & RESOURCES FOR EMPLOYERS - Health/Safety
https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/community/guidance-business-response.htmlOSHA Guidance for Employers
https://www.osha.gov/SLTC/covid-19/NH Department of Health & Human Services
Centers for Disease Control, OSHA update COVID 19 Guidelines for Manufacturers
The CDC and Occupational Safety and Health Administration have updated their guidance for manufacturing facilities. The guidelines urge companies to work directly with appropriate state and local public health officials and occupational safety and health professionals; incorporate relevant aspects of CDC guidance, and incorporate guidance from other authoritative sources or regulatory bodies as needed. Use this link to access the complete updated guidance from CDC and OSHA.
New Hampshire expands COVID 19 testing capabilities
Access to testing in New Hampshire is being expanded to anyone experiencing possible symptoms of the virus, as well as health care workers, anyone 60 years old or older, and anyone with a range of underlying conditions. Appointments in five different communities around the state can be scheduled using a new online portal. No doctor referral will be needed to sign up for a test and health insurance is not required. Individuals using the portal can choose a testing location close to them and select three timeslots. The person will then get a call to confirm the testing appointment. Use this link to access the new COVID 19 Testing Portal.
NH Attorney General Issues Opinion on Healthcare Provider Immunity
Attorney General Gordon MacDonald has issued an opinion letter to Department of Health and Human Services Commissioner Lori Shibinette relating to the potential exposure that acute care hospitals, assisted living facilities, long-term care facilities and nursing homes have to COVID-19 related liability litigation.
In his opinion letter, Attorney General MacDonald states that the immunity provided in RSA 21-P:41 does apply to these emergency management activities so long as the health facility and its employee or volunteer was complying with, or reasonably attempting to comply with, applicable state of emergency orders or rules. Read the full Attorney General opinion letter here.
State Health Insurers to forgo deductibles/co-pays for COVID-19 care
New Hampshire’s Insurance Department has announced that many of the state’s health insurance companies have committed to waiving member cost-sharing (deductibles, co-payments, or coinsurance) when the member is receiving treatment related to COVID-19. Participating companies include Aetna, Anthem Blue Cross Blue Shield, Cigna, Ambetter by NH Healthy Families, Harvard Pilgrim Health Care, Tufts Health Plan/Tufts Health Freedom Plan, and United Healthcare. Read the full Insurance Department news release here.
CDC issues new guidance for essential employers/employees
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have issued new guidance to ensure continuity of operations of essential functions. The CDC is advising that critical infrastructure workers may be permitted to continue work following potential exposure to COVID-19, provided they remain asymptomatic and additional precautions are implemented to protect them and the community. A potential exposure means being a household contact or having close contact within 6 feet of an individual with confirmed or suspected COVID-19. Read the full CDC guidance here.
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommend wearing cloth face masks in public
Noting that a significant number of people coronavirus lack symptoms (“asymptomatic”) and that even those who eventually develop symptoms (“pre-symptomatic”) can transmit the virus to others before showing symptoms, the CDC is now recommending wearing cloth face coverings in public settings, especially where other social distancing measures are difficult to maintain (e.g., grocery stores and pharmacies)
Preparing Workplaces for COVID-19
The CDC has also updated information for essential employers on best practices for preparing workplaces to slow the spread of COVID-19. The Occupational Safety Health Administration (OSHA) has also offered guidelines for preparing the workplace for COVID-19.
NH Health and Human Services Announces COVID-19 Related Program Changes
New Hampshire’s Department of Health and Human Services has announced COVID 19 related changes to several programs administered by the Department including Medicaid, SNAP, TANF and Childcare programs. As the Department receives additional guidance, this will be amended weekly and posted on the NHDHHS and COVID-19 websites.
Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) provides contacts for manufacturers
FEMA has released an information document for manufacturers gearing up to provide COVID-19 related personal protective equipment products. They also have a FEMA COVID-19 website with information including fact sheets, frequently asked questions, best practices and more.
NH State of Emergency Declared
On March 13th Governor Sununu issued an Executive Order declaring a State of Emergency. The executive order outlined new provisions allowing individuals who are quarantined due to confirmed or potential exposure; individuals needing care for themselves due to a related illness, individuals needing to care for an ill family member and individuals needing to care for a dependent to be able to access state unemployment benefits. Since that time, he has release various emergency orders relating to the pandemic. Read Executive Orders Here
The following links are provided to employers seeking more information on best practices for responding to Coronavirus:
US Chamber Coronavirus Information Page
Center for Disease Control – Guidance for Business
US Department of Labor
NH Department of Health & Human Services