DOH Update 5/14/2020
Governor DeSantis Issues Executive Order Number 20-114 and Number 20-120
On May 8, 2020, Governor Ron DeSantis issued Executive Order 20-114, extending Executive Order 20-52(originally issued on March 9, 2020) declaring a state of emergency for the state due to COVID-19. On April 29, 2020, Governor DeSantis issued Executive Order 20-112, authorizing elective procedures and other services to begin on May 4, 2020, with exceptions. On May 9, 2020, Governor Ron DeSantis issued Executive Order 20-120, authorizing the reopening of certain other personal services in the state of Florida beginning on May 11, 2020.
Extension of Department of Health (DOH) Emergency Orders
On May 8, 2020, State Surgeon General, Dr. Scott A. Rivkees issued Emergency Order DOH No. 20-007. This order extends Emergency Order No. DOH 20-001 (originally issued on March 10, 2020) and Emergency Order DOH No. 20-002 (originally issued on March 16, 2020). Emergency Orders No. 20-003and 20-006 are linked with the dates of Executive Order 20-52 and, as extended, remain in effect.
Recommended Guidance for Extended Use and Limited Reuse of N95 Filtering Facepiece Respirators in Health Care Settings
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) provide health care practitioners guidance for extended use and limited reuse of National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health-certified N95 filtering facepiece respirators (commonly called “N95 respirators”). Click here to view the CDC guidance.
Return to Work Criteria for Essential Personnel with Confirmed or Suspected COVID-19
The CDC published updated guidance on the criteria health care personnel should use when returning to work with suspected or confirmed COVID-19. Click here to view Florida’s summary of the CDC guidance.
Discontinuation of Transmission-based Precautions and Disposition of Patients with COVID-19 in Long-term Care Facilities
The CDC published updated guidance on the criteria for discontinuation of transmission-based precautions and disposition of patients with COVID-19 in health care settings. Click here to view Florida’s summary of the CDC guidance.
The CDC updated their clinical and diagnostic testing criteria for COVID-19. Click here to view Florida's updated clinical guidance which aligns with the CDC.
COVID-19 Testing and Lab Directory Qualifications
Upon Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) approval and release by the federal Food and Drug Administration, a laboratory test (including any COVID-19 test) is assigned a complexity: waived, moderate or high complexity. Laboratory director qualifications are dependent on the complexity of the test and can be found in 42 CFR 493.
- Waived Testing – No Laboratory Director qualifications in 42 CFR 493
- Moderate Complexity Testing – Laboratory Director must meet §493.1403 and §493.1405(a) and (b)
- High Complexity Testing – Laboratory Director must meet §493.1441 and §493.1443(a) and (b)
The federal requirements in §493.1405(a) and §493.1443(a) are satisfied based on the issuance of Emergency Order DOH No. 20-006 as it relates to pharmacists; however, §493.1405(b) and §493.1443(b) must still be met.
Clinical Laboratory Improvement Amendments (CLIA) applicants intending on administering COVID-19 tests will be required to provide the test name, type and manufacturer to determine whether the test is waived, moderate or high complexity for the purposes of assessing Laboratory Director qualifications.
For questions regarding test complexity and Laboratory Director requirements, please contact the Laboratory and In-Home Services Unit at Labstaff@ahca.myflorida.com.
Agency for Health Care Administration (AHCA) Issued Emergency Rules Related to COVID-19
To prevent the spread of COVID-19 at long-term care and residential facilities, AHCA issued Emergency Rule 59AER20-1. This rule requires COVID-19 testing by hospitals of all patients, regardless of symptoms, prior to discharge to long-term care facilities.
AHCA issued Emergency Rule 59AER20-2 (Assistant Living Facilities) and Emergency Rule 59AER20-3(Nursing Homes), to require facilities to comply with DOH infection control directives concerning COVID-19, including allowing entry for purposes of testing and requiring facility staff to submit to COVID-19 testing.
AHCA resources related to COVID-19 can be accessed on the agency's COVID-19 alerts for facilities and Medicaid providers website.
Weekly Health Care Provider Telephone Conference Call
To address questions from health care providers around the state, participants are asked to email questions in advance to Provider.COVID19@flhealth.gov no later than close of business on the Monday preceding the call. All participants will be muted during these calls to help streamline information delivery. State Surgeon General, Dr. Scott Rivkees, in collaboration with Secretary Mary Mayhew from AHCA, will provide updates from DOH on the COVID-19 pandemic response efforts, provide a briefing from AHCA, offer updates from other state agencies and address questions submitted from health care providers. If you are interested in joining this weekly telephone conference call, please see the call-in information below: