What We’re Reading: Worker Heat Safety; COVID-19 Anxiety; Nursing Home Staffing Rule


Rising temperatures demand action against heat-related illnesses; school superintendents face complex decisions as COVID-19 cases rise; national staffing standards for nursing homes present challenges.

Federal Heat Safety Standards Needed to Protect Workers

With temperatures soaring due to climate change, the absence of federal regulations to protect workers from extreme heat is putting their health and safety at risk, according to Kaiser Health News. While some states have implemented their own standards, a lack of nationwide guidelines leaves many workers vulnerable to heat-related illnesses. Urgent bipartisan support is needed to accelerate the implementation of federal heat safety standards to ensure the well-being of outdoor and indoor workers in increasingly sweltering conditions, according to lawmakers and employees interviewed.

Schools Grapple With COVID-19 Resurgence Amid Lack of Federal Guidance

As COVID-19 cases surge in some parts of the United States, school districts are faced with the challenge of navigating pandemic-related decisions without comprehensive federal guidance, according to The Hill. Few schools have implemented mass closures or mask mandates thus far, and school leaders are making decisions in collaboration with local health authorities and communities. In the absence of specific national guidance, school administrators find themselves in a precarious position as they balance the health needs of students and staff with the potential for politicized blowback.

Challenges Loom Around Proposed Nursing Home Staffing Minimums

The Biden administration recently proposed national staffing standards for nursing homes, which require providing patients with at least 3 dedicated hours of care each day and having a registered nurse on site 24/7, according to Axios. While nursing home lobbying groups have criticized the policy as costly and burdensome, some experts believe it's a middle-of-the-road requirement that could guard against low-performing facilities. However, concerns persist about the ability to find and afford enough staff to meet the requirements, indicating the need for additional workforce support in the industry.

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