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COVID-19 Vaccination and Testing Mandates for EMS Agencies

Posted: Sept. 16, 2021 (updated Nov. 5, 2021)

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid (CMS) and the Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) have released new vaccine and testing mandates that are now in effect.

: Gary Coronado / Los Angeles Times

UPDATED Nov. 5, 2021

Several provisions in these new legislative changes impact emergency medical services (EMS) and ambulance agencies.

CMS mandates

On Sept. 9, 2021, the White House issued the Path Out of the Pandemic COVID-19 Action Plan. On the same day, CMS and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention announced changes to emergency regulations impacting vaccination requirements.

CMS has expanded vaccination requirements from only nursing home workers to now include workers in hospitals, dialysis facilities, ambulatory surgical settings and home health agencies, among others, as a condition for participating in the Medicare and Medicaid programs. The decision was based on the continued and growing spread of the virus in health care settings, especially in parts of the United States with higher incidence of COVID-19. Read the CMS interim final rule

Providers are required to establish a policy by Dec. 5, 2021, that ensures all eligible staff have received the first dose of a 2-dose vaccine regime, or a 1-dose COVID-19 vaccine prior to providing any care, treatment or other services. The rule requires that all eligible staff receive either their 2 doses of Pfizer or Moderna or 1 dose of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine no later than Jan. 4, 2022.

OSHA mandate

OSHA has issued an emergency temporary standard (ETS) to minimize the risk of COVID-19 transmission in the workplace. The ETS establishes binding requirements to protect unvaccinated employees of large employers (100 or more employees) from the risk of contracting COVID-19 in the workplace. Learn about the COVID-19 Vaccination and Testing ETS

This article is based on content in the
Sept. 16, 2021 InfoGram.

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Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti holds a vile of the Moderna COVID-19 vaccination while LAFD firefighters receive the vaccine at Station 4 on Dec. 28.
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