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AB-1105 Hospital workers: COVID-19 testing.(2021-2022)

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Date Published: 04/13/2021 09:46 AM
AB1105:v98#DOCUMENT

Amended  IN  Assembly  April 12, 2021

CALIFORNIA LEGISLATURE— 2021–2022 REGULAR SESSION

Assembly Bill
No. 1105


Introduced by Assembly Member Rodriguez

February 18, 2021


An act to amend Section 6403.3 of, and to add Section 6403.4 to, the Labor Code, relating to workplace safety.


LEGISLATIVE COUNSEL'S DIGEST


AB 1105, as amended, Rodriguez. Hospital workers: COVID-19 testing.
Existing law sets forth safety and health requirements for employers and employees. Existing law requires a public or private employer of workers in a general acute care hospital, as defined, to supply personal protective equipment, as defined, to employees who provide direct patient care or who provide services that directly support patient care. Existing law provides that, except where another penalty is specifically provided, every employer and every officer, management official, or supervisor having direction, management, control, or custody of any employment, place of employment, or of any other employee, who repeatedly violates any standard, order, or special order, or any provision of specified employment safety laws so that such repeated violation creates a real and apparent hazard to employees is guilty of a misdemeanor.
This bill would require the employer to supply personal protective equipment to an employee, regardless of whether or not the employee has received a vaccination for COVID-19.
This bill would also require a public or private employer of workers in a general acute care hospital to develop and implement a program to offer weekly COVID-19 screening testing for health care personnel, as defined. The bill would require the program to meet certain requirements, including requiring the employer to conduct the COVID-19 screening testing by administering to participating health care personnel, personnel a specified COVID-19 test with results obtained within 48 hours, offering all health care personnel the opportunity to participate in the screening testing program, and offering health care personnel who have signs or symptoms consistent with COVID-19 the opportunity to be tested for COVID-19 immediately. The bill would require an employer to develop and implement health care personnel screening testing guidelines that include policies and procedures that address the use of COVID-19 test results, as specified. The bill would require an employer to develop a COVID-19 mitigation and testing plan containing the requirements described above and to make the plan available to the department and health care personnel and their representatives upon request. The bill would also require an employer to test all patients for COVID-19 prior to admission to the hospital and to monitor all patients during their hospital stay for the development of COVID-19 symptoms. The bill would, if an employer provides emergency services and direct patient care services in a general acute care hospital controlled by another employer, impose the requirements of this section only on the employer who controls the general acute care hospital and would require that employer to meet those requirements for all workers in that hospital. Because the bill would expand the scope of a crime, the bill would impose a state-mandated local program.
The California Constitution requires the state to reimburse local agencies and school districts for certain costs mandated by the state. Statutory provisions establish procedures for making that reimbursement.
This bill would provide that no reimbursement is required by this act for a specified reason.
Vote: MAJORITY   Appropriation: NO   Fiscal Committee: YES   Local Program: YES  

The people of the State of California do enact as follows:


SECTION 1.

 Section 6403.3 of the Labor Code is amended to read:

6403.3.
 (a) For purposes of this section:
(1) “Employer” means a person or organization that employs workers in the public or private sector to provide direct patient care in a general acute care hospital, as defined in subdivision (a) of Section 1250 of the Health and Safety Code.
(2) “Personal protective equipment” means the equipment and devices necessary to comply with Sections 3380 and 5199 of Title 8 of the California Code of Regulations, provided that those requirements are at least as protective as those sections read on May 4, 2020.
(b) (1) An employer shall supply personal protective equipment to employees who provide direct patient care or provide services that directly support patient care in a general acute care hospital. An employer shall ensure that employees use the personal protective equipment supplied to them.
(2) The requirements of paragraph (1) apply regardless of whether or not the employee has received a vaccination for COVID-19.
(c) (1) Beginning April 1, 2021, an employer shall maintain a stockpile of the following equipment in the amount equal to three months of normal consumption:
(A) N95 filtering facepiece respirators.
(B) Powered air-purifying respirators with high efficiency particulate air filters.
(C) Elastomeric air-purifying respirators and appropriate particulate filters or cartridges.
(D) Surgical masks.
(E) Isolation gowns.
(F) Eye protection.
(G) Shoe coverings.
(2) Single use equipment in the stockpile shall be unexpired, new, and not previously worn or used. An employer shall provide an inventory of its stockpile and a copy of its written procedures required pursuant to subdivision (f) to the Division of Occupational Safety and Health upon request. An employer who violates the requirement to maintain a supply of equipment prescribed by this subdivision shall be assessed a civil penalty of up to twenty-five thousand dollars ($25,000) for each violation, unless the department determines that the employer could not meet the requirement due to issues beyond their control, such as the employer can demonstrate that equipment needed to meet the requirements of this section has been ordered from their manufacturer or distributor and not fulfilled, or has been damaged or stolen. The exemption from a civil penalty shall apply only to the type of equipment listed in paragraph (1) that is affected by issues beyond the employer's control. An employer shall still maintain the equipment that is not affected by issues beyond the employer's control.
(d) If an employer provides health care services in a facility or other setting controlled by another employer who is obligated to maintain a stockpile pursuant to subdivision (c), the employer who controls the facility or other setting shall maintain the required equipment for the employer providing health care services in that facility or setting.
(e) On or before January 15, 2021, an employer licensed under subdivision (a) of Section 1250 of the Health and Safety Code shall be prepared to report to the department, under penalty of perjury, its highest seven-day consecutive daily average consumption of personal protective equipment during the 2019 calendar year, upon request by the department. General acute care hospitals under the jurisdiction of the State Department of State Hospitals are exempt from this requirement. State hospitals shall make their highest seven-day consecutive daily average consumption of personal protective equipment during the 2019 calendar year available upon request to the Division of Occupational Safety and Health.
(f) An employer shall establish and implement effective written procedures for periodically determining the quantity and types of equipment used in its normal consumption.
(g) The division may enforce an alleged violation of this section through the issuance of a citation, pursuant to Section 6317.
(h) Subdivision (b) is declaratory of existing law.

SEC. 2.

 Section 6403.4 is added to the Labor Code, to read:

6403.4.
 (a) For purposes of this section, the following definitions apply:
(1) “Confirmed COVID-19 patient” means a patient who has tested positive for COVID-19.
(2) “COVID-19” means the illness caused by severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2).
(3) “COVID-19 screening testing” means using a diagnostic test for SARS-CoV-2.
(4) “Employer” means a person or organization that employs workers in the public or private sector to provide direct patient care in a general acute care hospital, as defined in subdivision (a) of Section 1250 of the Health and Safety Code. hospital.
(5) “Exposed,” with regard to health care personnel, means the health care personnel had contact with a potential or confirmed COVID-19 patient while not wearing full personal protective equipment.
(6) “Full personal protective equipment” means, at a minimum, all of the following:
(A) A NIOSH-certified respirator that is at least as protective as an N95 filtering facepiece respirator.
(B) Eye protection.
(C) A fluid-resistant isolation gown.
(D) Medical-grade gloves.
(7) “General acute care hospital” has the same meaning as defined in subdivision (a) of Section 1250 of the Health and Safety Code.

(7)

(8) “Health care personnel” means all paid and unpaid persons serving in a general acute care hospital as defined in subdivision (a) of Section 1250 of the Health and Safety Code hospital who have the potential for direct or indirect exposure to patients or infectious materials, including body substances, such as blood, tissue, and fluids, contaminated medical supplies, devices, or equipment, contaminated environmental surfaces, or contaminated air. Health care personnel include, but are not limited to, emergency medical service personnel, nurses, nursing assistants, physicians, technicians, therapists, phlebotomists, pharmacists, students and trainees, contractual staff not employed by the general acute care hospital, and persons not directly involved in patient care, but who could be exposed to infectious agents that can be transmitted in the hospital setting, including clerical, dietary, environmental services, laundry, security, engineering and facilities management, administrative, billing, and volunteer personnel.

(8)

(9) “Potential COVID-19 patient” means a patient who has not been confirmed to have COVID-19, but who also has not been ruled out as having COVID-19 by a precautionary screening.

(9)

(10) “Precautionary screening” means evaluating whether or not a patient may have COVID-19 by administering a COVID-19 test, reviewing the patient’s history of exposure to COVID-19 during the previous 14 days, and documenting clinical signs and symptoms that might be consistent with COVID-19.
(b) An employer shall develop and implement a program to offer weekly COVID-19 screening testing for health care personnel that meets the following requirements:
(1) The employer shall conduct the COVID-19 screening testing by administering to participating health care personnel, an authorized COVID-19 virus nucleic acid test with results obtained within 48 hours.
(2) All health care personnel shall be offered the opportunity to participate in the screening testing program. Except as provided in paragraphs (3) and (4), health care personnel may participate in the screening testing program as frequently as weekly.
(3) Health care personnel who have been exposed to COVID-19 shall be offered the opportunity to be tested for COVID-19, regardless of whether or not they are symptomatic or asymptomatic.
(4) Health care personnel who have signs or symptoms consistent with COVID-19 shall be offered the opportunity to be tested for COVID-19 immediately. Employers shall not delay offering testing of symptomatic health care personnel until the next scheduled screening testing date.
(5) COVID-19 screening testing shall be offered to health care personnel even if they have been vaccinated or previously tested positive for COVID-19.
(6) Routine COVID-19 screening testing of health care personnel does not replace or preclude other infection prevention and control interventions, including monitoring all health care personnel and patients for signs and symptoms of COVID-19, universal masking by health care personnel and patients for source control, maintaining physical distancing and source control in health care personnel common areas, including break rooms, use of recommended personal protective equipment, and environmental cleaning and disinfection.
(7) An employer may use pooled testing for routine weekly screening of asymptomatic health care personnel. Pooled testing may not be used for diagnostic screening.
(8) COVID-19 screening testing shall be offered at no cost to health care personnel, at a reasonable time and place for the health care personnel, and during the health care personnel’s working hours.
(c) An employer shall develop and implement health care personnel screening testing guidelines that include policies and procedures that address the use of COVID-19 test results. The policies and procedures shall include all of the following:
(1) A policy on how the results of the COVID-19 tests will be explained to health care personnel.
(2) A policy on how to communicate information about a positive COVID-19 test to the hospital’s responsible parties.
(3) A policy on how COVID-19 test results, whether positive or negative, will be tracked and methods for reporting test results to state and local authorities, as required by law.
(4) A policy on how COVID-19 test results will be used to guide implementation of infection control measures, including plans for notification and testing of other health care personnel and patients who are exposed to COVID-19. Employers shall implement contact tracing as a part of their infection control measures.
(5) A procedure for addressing health care personnel that are exposed to COVID-19 or showing symptoms of COVID-19, but who decline or are unable to be tested.
(6) Plans to address potential staffing shortages for health care personnel who test positive for COVID-19 and who are excluded from work.
(d) An employer shall develop a COVID-19 mitigation testing plan containing all requirements described in subdivisions (b) and (c) and shall make this plan available to the department and health care personnel and their representatives upon request.
(e) An employer shall test all patients for COVID-19 prior to admission to the hospital and shall monitor all patients during their hospital stay for the development of COVID-19 symptoms. Employers shall promptly test any newly symptomatic patients and any patients who are exposed to a suspected or confirmed COVID-19 case during their hospital stay.
(f) If an employer provides emergency services and direct patient care services in a general acute care hospital controlled by another employer, the requirements of this section shall be imposed only on the employer who controls the general acute care hospital and that employer shall meet those requirements for all workers in that hospital.

SEC. 3.

 No reimbursement is required by this act pursuant to Section 6 of Article XIII B of the California Constitution because the only costs that may be incurred by a local agency or school district will be incurred because this act creates a new crime or infraction, eliminates a crime or infraction, or changes the penalty for a crime or infraction, within the meaning of Section 17556 of the Government Code, or changes the definition of a crime within the meaning of Section 6 of Article XIII B of the California Constitution.