During the COVID-19 pandemic, the University, including the Medical Center, has been focused on the health of faculty and staff by closely following workplace safety guidelines. Recently, both the federal government and New York State have released new workplace safety rules to standardize safety protections for employees.
On September 6, Governor Kathy Hochul announced the designation of COVID-19 as an airborne infectious disease under the New York Health and Essential Rights Act, which requires all employers to implement workplace safety plans to protect employees against exposure and disease.
The University’s Hero Act: Airborne Infectious Disease Exposure Prevention Plan for COVID-19 is available on the Environmental Health and Safety website. The US Labor Department’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has also released an emergency temporary standard that applies to healthcare settings where suspected or confirmed coronavirus patients are treated.
After a review, it has been determined that the University’s health system has already implemented all of the measures cited in the workplace safety rules. The University will continue to ensure compliance with the rules and adapt protocols based on new information from OSHA and the Centers for Disease Control. Details about Medical Center processes and protocols for meeting the new standard can be found in the University of Rochester Medical Center (URMC) COVID-19 Plan, which is available in Policystat.
The COVID-19 safety training has been updated in MyPath to reflect these plans; search for “COVID-19 Safety Training.” Employees can report any possible plan violations to their supervisor, HR Business Partner, or the Integrity Hotline and are granted retaliation protection.