Cuomo’s Executive Orders Include Workforce Flexibilities

April 19, 2020 by Mandy Qualls

Filed under COVID-19 for Employers, For Employers

Last modified April 20, 2020

Gov. Cuomo released two new Executive Orders that include new workforce flexibilities, directives related to sharing information on nursing home patients who have suffered a COVID-19-related death or have tested positive and a plan to coordinate prioritization of COVID-19 testing statewide. The following information comes from the Healthcare Association of New York State (HANYS).

Executive Order 202.18 includes many healthcare-related provisions requested by HANYS to provide additional workforce and laboratory services flexibility, effective through May 16:

  • Allows physicians, physician assistants or a substantially similar title, registered nurses, licensed practical nurses, nurse practitioners, physician assistants, licensed master social workers, licensed clinical social workers or a substantially similar title licensed and in current good standing in any province or territory of Canada, to practice in New York state without civil or criminal penalty related to lack of licensure.
  • Allows specialist assistants, respiratory therapists, respiratory therapist technicians, pharmacists, clinical nurse specialists, dentists, dental hygienists, registered dental assistants, midwives, perfusionists, clinical laboratory technologists, cytotechnologists, certified clinical laboratory technicians, certified histological technicians, licensed clinical social workers, licensed master social workers, podiatrists, physical therapists, physical therapist assistants, mental health counselors, marriage and family therapists, creative arts therapists, psychoanalysts and psychologists who have an unencumbered license and are currently in good standing in New York state, but not registered in the state, to practice without civil or criminal penalty related to lack of registration.
  • Permits graduates of state-registered nurse practitioner education programs to be employed to practice nursing in a hospital or nursing home for 180 days immediately following successful completion of the program, provided that the graduate files an application for certification as a nurse practitioner with the State Education Department.
  • Permits graduates of state-registered clinical laboratory technology and clinical laboratory technician education programs to be employed to practice for 180 days immediately following successful completion of the program in a clinical laboratory with a valid New York state permit, provided that the graduate files an application license and limited permit.
  • Extend the triennial registrations of pharmacy establishments whose registration is set to expire on or after March 31, 2020. An application for re-registration of such registrations shall be submitted no later than 30 days after expiration of Executive Order 202.18.
  • Allows clinical laboratory practitioners to perform testing in a clinical laboratory under remote supervision, provided a supervisor is onsite at least eight hours per week.
  • Modifies Section 603(b) of the Not-for-Profit Corporations Law to the extent necessary to permit annual meetings of members to be held remotely or by electronic means.
  • Directs all skilled nursing facilities, nursing homes or adult care facilities licensed and regulated by DOH to notify family members or next of kin if any resident tests positive for COVID-19 or if any resident suffers a COVID-19-related death, within 24 hours of such positive test result or death.
  • Directs any person utilizing and providing public or private transportation carriers or other for-hire vehicles, who is over age two and able to medically tolerate a face covering, to wear a mask or face covering over the nose and mouth during any such trip while there are any passengers in such vehicle, starting April 17 at 8 p.m.
  • Extends previous Executive Order directives that closed or otherwise restricted public or private businesses or places of public accommodation and that required postponement or cancellation of all non-essential gatherings of individuals of any size for any reason, along with all enforcement mechanisms, until 11:59 p.m. on May 15, unless later extended by a future Executive Order.
  • Extends previous Executive Order directives related to the closure of schools statewide through May 15, at which time the continued closure shall be re-evaluated; provided that school districts must continue plans for alternative instructional options, distribution and availability of meals and child care, with an emphasis on serving children of essential workers.

Executive Order 202.19  includes the following directives:

  • DOH shall establish a single, statewide coordinated testing prioritization process that shall require all laboratories in the state, both public and private, that conduct COVID-19 diagnostic testing, to complete such COVID-19 diagnostic testing only in accordance with such process. Any such laboratories shall prioritize testing of entities or individuals as directed by this coordinated statewide process. HANYS will provide additional information on this directive as it becomes available.
  • The directive contained in Executive Order 202.18 requiring any skilled nursing facility, nursing home or adult care facility licensed and regulated by the commissioner of health to notify a family member or next of kin if any resident tests positive for COVID-19 or suffers a COVID-19-related death, within 24 hours is modified solely to provide a penalty for non-compliance of $2,000 per violation per day, as if it were a violation of Section 12 of the Public Health Law, and any subsequent violation shall be punishable as if it is a violation of Section 12-b of the Public Health Law.
  • No local government or local department of health shall take any actions that could affect public health without consulting with DOH. No local government official shall take any action that could impede or conflict with any other local government actions or state actions with respect to managing the COVID-19 public health emergency.
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