Risk Management

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During a press briefing on Thursday, Nov. 19, 2020, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommended that Americans don’t travel for Thanksgiving to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

The recommendation—which is not an official federal order against traveling—comes just one day after the United States surpassed 250,000 COVID-19-related deaths.

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OSHA has issued respiratory guidance focused on protecting workers in nursing homes, assisted living and other long term care facilities (LTCFs) from occupational exposure to COVID-19.

Control Measures

Under the guidance, health care providers should use source control measures, regardless of whether they present COVID-19 symptoms. Source control measures include, but are not limited to:

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The tax industry, state tax agencies and the IRS are warning taxpayers about a new scam that criminals are using to try to trick people into disclosing their bank account information in order to receive an Economic Impact Payment, or as it’s commonly referred to, a stimulus check.

What’s the Scam?

In this new scam, criminals are texting individuals with a message reading:

As many people in the United States begin to plan for holiday celebrations, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) offers the following considerations to help protect individuals and their families, friends and communities from COVID-19.

These considerations are meant to supplement—not replace—any state, local, territorial or tribal health and safety laws, rules and regulations with which holiday gatherings must comply. When planning to host a holiday celebration, you should assess current COVID-19 levels in your community to determine whether to postpone, cancel or limit the number of attendees.

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The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recently updated its guidance on the effectiveness of cloth masks to include protection for the wearer of the mask, in addition to helping prevent the spread of COVID-19.

According to the CDC's scientific brief, observational and epidemiological studies demonstrate that wearing a cloth mask can offer protections from contracting SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19.

Legal Update HeaderThe Transportation Security Administration (TSA) has extended the exemption for renewal of the hazardous materials endorsement (HME) security threat assessment (STA) for certain individuals through Dec. 31, 2020.

The exemption applies to commercial motor vehicle (CMV) drivers who transport hazardous materials and whose HME must be renewed or issued.

The Occupational Health and Safety Administration (OSHA) has been citing establishments for violations related to COVID-19. These citations have resulted in more than $1 million in penalties since the pandemic began.

OSHA announces new enforcement actions weekly. These announcements provide penalty totals and the number of establishments that receive citations. Taken together, these announcements provide insight on how OSHA is enforcing compliance with COVID-19 workplace safety guidelines. Some common COVID-19 employer citations include failures to:

One In 10 People In The United States Will Get The Flu In A Given Season, According To Estimates From The Centers For Disease Control And Prevention (CDC).

And while viruses can live year-round, flu activity tends to rise in October and then peak between December and February. With COVID-19 a factor this year, it’s even more important to take precautions to prevent the flu from spreading.

Legal Update HeaderOn Sept. 22, 2020, The U.S. Department Of Transportation (DOT) Extended Its COVID-19 Drug And Alcohol Testing Guidance To Dec. 31, 2020. The Extended Guidance Allows Substance Abuse Professionals (SAPs) To Perform Remote Assessments And Evaluations And Lengthens The Requalification Timeline For Service Agents Through The End Of The Year.

This guidance provides SAPs and other service agents with the flexibility they need to help employers comply with existing DOT drug and alcohol regulations during the COVID-19 pandemic.