ALERT: Amended COVID Administrative Order on Masking and Physician Practice Operations
With the new AO in place these very dated requirements are NO LONGER IN EFFECT in physician practices:
Utilize telemedicine to the greatest extent possible
Allow only one companion
Stagger staff schedules and space appointments to minimize number of people in the office
Install barriers between staff
Clean high touch areas after each use
Masks for staff in breakrooms
Remove magazines from waiting rooms
In order to "practice in a manner consistent with the COVID guidance," it is important to understand what the CDC recommends:
Here's the most updated CDC guidance for healthcare workers who have, or have been exposed to, COVID-19.
Here's the most updated CDC guidance for infection prevention in healthcare settings (including doctors' offices, hospitals and home care).
The CDC still recommends:
- Signage in offices on infection control.
- Screening - but method is discretionary and no mandates on how to do it.
- Masking: see more below.
- Physical distancing: see more below
High Community Transmission:
Patients/Physicians and Staff: Required masking/physical distance for patients and all health care staff regardless of vaccination status during high transmission.
Low/Moderate Community Transmission:
Patients: You may allow exceptions for masking/physical distance for patients who are up to date with all recommended COVID-19 vaccine doses in healthcare settings during low/moderate transmission.
And to make it more confusing:
Staff: Generally - Physicians and staff who are up to date with all recommended COVID-19 vaccine doses:
May choose not to wear masks or physically distance when they are in well-defined areas that are restricted from patient access (e.g., staff meeting rooms, kitchen).