ASHE reports favorable results from NFPA voting

The American Society for Health Care Engineering (ASHE) reported favorable outcomes on all three certified amending motions (CAM) it worked to influence during this year’s National Fire Protection Association Technical Session. CAMs 4-1 & 4-5, Modification to Add Coordination of “Passive Fire Protection” within Integrated Testing, passed 126 votes to 38 votes. ASHE says the need to coordinate active fire protection devices with passive fire protection elements within the integrated fire alarm testing improves the overall effectiveness of the system. CAM 99-5, Adding Fixtures, Furnishings and Decorations to Section 16.3 Special Hazard Protection for Flammable Liquids and Gases, failed with a vote of 46 for and 97 against. ASHE says the proposed text would have been redundant. 

CDC updates guidance on managing facilities

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recently updated its health care facility operations guidance to reflect the current COVID-19 pandemic environment. The document outlines goals and strategies for U.S. health care facilities to operate effectively and safely during the COVID-19 pandemic, including recommendations to follow infection prevention and control routines tailored to their setting, and minimizing disease transmission to patients and health care personnel.

EPA approves two disinfectant products 

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) approved two products, Lysol Disinfectant Spray (EPA Reg No. 777-99) and Lysol Disinfectant Max Cover Mist (EPA Reg No. 777-127), based on laboratory testing that shows the products are effective against SARS-CoV-2. The EPA updated the entries for two products on List N to show they have now been tested directly against SARS-CoV-2. These are the first List N products for which the agency has reviewed laboratory testing data and approved label claims against SARS-CoV-2. EPA says it expects to approve such claims for additional List N products. The agency says when using an EPA-registered disinfectant, follow the label directions for safe, effective use. Make sure to follow the contact time, which is the amount of time the surface should be visibly wet. 

FCC supplies additional funding for rural facilities

The Federal Communications Commission’s (FCC’s) Rural Health Care Program will carry forward up to $197.98 million in unused funds from prior years to increase available funding for 2020 to $802.74 million if needed, the agency announced. The commission in 2018 established a process to carry forward past unused funds to meet growing demand for access to health care broadband services, particularly in rural areas. It also increased the program’s annual funding cap and decided to adjust it annually for inflation. “And now, more than ever, our foresight is fortuitous, as telehealth is proving to be critical in our fight against COVID-19,” says FCC Chairman Ajit Pai.