Emergency Rules for Tuberculosis (TB) Testing Requirements

Emergency Rules for Tuberculosis (TB) Testing Requirements

The Department of Social and Health Services has filed CR-103E (WSR 21-23-015) emergency rules for tuberculosis (TB) testing requirements for long-term care workers. The new
emergency rules continue the suspension of requirements related to TB testing in WACs. These rules are suspended in response to the significant threat of COVID-19 to our most vulnerable
populations, especially for those receiving long-term care services in their homes and congregate settings, such as long-term care facilities. This rule-filing extends the emergency
rule until March 05, 2022.

Clinics providing TB testing continue to be short of staff and have limited availability throughout the state due to the COVID-19 outbreak. These clinics are unable to provide the TB testing required as a part of the hiring process in many long-term care programs. Many assisted livings do not have the nurses on staff available to perform the TB skin testing in-house currently.
These emergency rules are intended to help meet the demand for long-term care workers in Washington State.

Additionally, a CR-101 (WSR 20-16-069) was filed with Office of the Code Reviser on July 29, 2020, to begin the rule-making process establishing a timeframe when long-term care facility
employees and residential service and support provider employees were not required to be screened for tuberculosis under the rules suspended or waived during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Ongoing communication with stakeholders indicates a continuance of these suspended rules is needed as the COVID pandemic is still impacting the ability of long-term care facilities to meet
these requirements.   Letter




Alyssa Odegaard – Vice President, Public Policy

cell: 206-948-2279

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