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With the new AO in place these very dated requirements are NO LONGER IN EFFECT in physician practices: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

Masking/Physical Distancing:

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).
    • They should wear maskswhen they are in areas of the office where they could encounter patients (e.g., hospital cafeteria, exam rooms, waiting rooms, common halls/corridors).