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​​The federal agency that oversees workplace safety is moving forward with making certain Covid-19 protections for health care workers permanent, and not everyone is happy about it.

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration has been working since last year on rules governing masks and vaccination requirements in hospitals. After putting out proposed standards and then gathering hundreds of comments from hospitals, clinicians, unions, and others, it sent a final version of the regulation to the White House budget office for review last week.


It’s a surprisingly contentious subject. Many hospitals argue they already follow Covid-19 rules from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, and having a third agency enforcing such rules would cause confusion and add expense at what’s already the toughest time for providers’ bottom lines in years.

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