Federal Government Ends COVID-19 Public Health Emergency
May 16, 2023
As you know, Nevada ended its COVID-19 declaration of emergency earlier this year. The federal government has now done the same.
Specifically, on April 10, 2023, President Biden signed a resolution agreed to by the U.S. Congress to end the COVID-19 national emergency declared on March 13, 2020. That resolution became immediately effective. Then, on May 11, 2023, the public health emergency declaration ended as did the vaccine mandate for federal employees, federal contractors and international air travelers. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) explains that COVID-19 vaccines, treatments and testing remain available and should become a part of routine public health practices.
It is important to remember that Nevada employers still have a duty to protect their workers from COVID-19, a recognized hazard in the workplace. The most recent guidance from Nevada’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (NV OSHA), dated January 20, 2023, remains in effect. This guidance states that “[e]mployers should evaluate the risk of COVID-19 in their workplace and incorporate an explanation of the methods used to identify, analyze, and control exposure to COVID-19 into the Written Safety Program required under NAC 618.540(1)(b).” A written safety program is required for all businesses with over 10 employees; businesses with 10 or fewer employees are “highly encouraged” to have a written COVID‐19 Prevention Program.
Nevada’s public accommodation facilities will soon be able to remove the onerous COVID-19 protocols imposed by Nevada Revised Statutes 447.300-447.355 (from 2020’s Senate Bill 4). Yesterday, Senate Bill 441, which removes these mandates, cleared its final legislative hurdle. The changes do not go into effect until the Governor signs the bill. As soon as that happens, we will let you know.
We encourage all employers to stay tuned to the KZA Employer Report for further updates. KZA attorneys are available to answer any questions you have.
KZA Employer Report articles are for general information only; they are not intended and should not be construed to be legal advice. Reading or replying to such articles does not establish an attorney-client relationship. In addition, because the subject matters and applicable laws discussed in Employer Report articles are often in a state of change and not always applicable to every type of business entity or organization, readers should consult with counsel before making decisions based on the same.