COVID-19 Resources

ASHE Releases New COVID-19 Recovery Checklist

Updated: May 21, 2020
ASHE COVID-19 Recovery Checklist

CMS Blanket Waiver Temporarily Modifies Certain Requirements

Updated: May 7, 2020
Thanks to the hard work of all ASHE members and the ASHE Advocacy Team, The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services' blanket waiver temporarily modifies the inspection, testing and maintenance (ITM) provisions of the Life Safety Code and Health Care Facilities Code to the extent necessary to permit facilities to adjust required scheduled ITM frequencies and activities. The following ITM considered critical are not included in this waiver: sprinkler system monthly electric motor-driven and weekly diesel engine-driven fire pump testing; portable fire extinguisher monthly inspection; elevators with firefighters' emergency operations monthly testing; emergency generator 30 continuous-minute and associated transfer switch monthly testing; means of egress daily inspection in areas undergoing construction, repair, alterations or additions to ensure instant use in case of emergency.
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ASHE Needs Your Help!

Updated: May 7, 2020
The ASHE Advocacy Team, along with Lennon Peake, is requesting your help to get the health care field’s voice heard at NFPA. Currently NFPA 10: Standard for Portable Fire Extinguishers, is accepting public comments for the 2021 edition of the standard. Lennon Peake has graciously supplied a step by step guide on how to submit a public comment to address the portable fire extinguisher inspections.
View Guide

Supporting Member Resource - E4H Environments for Health Architecture

Update: May 1, 2020
A gathering of E4H COVID-19 resources is here: e4harchitecture.com/covid-19-resource-page/. -Lena Gordon, Associate
Updated: April 27, 2020

Reuse/Recycle during COVID-19 Crisis

NEHES Member Stanley Hunter has found a new use for the NEHES shopping tote bag from the Fall Conference. Stan noted that combined with a cotton liner it makes a great face mask.

Thanks to Stan for sharing his creativity!
Updated April 15, 2020
ASHE’s COVID-19 page is regularly being updated with new resources at ASHE COVID- 19 Resources. Please check out the site for additional resources to share with your members. If you have a resource that you find useful or questions that you have or a resource that you could use please let Jonathan Flannery or myself know. The ASHE Advocacy Team is always looking for volunteers for task forces, especially now, please let us know if you would like to hear about volunteer opportunities with task forces around the COVID-19 pandemic.

Templates for submitting inspection, testing and maintenance waivers to CMS

We have attached the template letter and table for requesting waivers under Section 1135 of the Social Security Act. ASHE recommends that health care facilities submit waiver requests by region or individually to their CMS regional office, even those that are a part of a national organization. An individual or regional request will allow health care organizations to better detail specific criteria, such as current surge issues within the area. This information will help to inform CMS’s waiver granting process. Also, it is important that health care organizations clarify to their regional CMS office that the waiver request is only to defer these certain requirements until the state of emergency is lifted.

ASHE needs your help! Each approved waiver will allow facilities to delay inspection, testing, maintenance and certain drills required by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services. ASHE requests that you work with your chapter members to help them submit and submit on your members behalf if at all possible. The more facilities submit, the more likely our efforts will be acknowledged. Encourage your members to appeal denials. One and done submissions will not work this time. Proactive advocacy is the only way that we can make a difference. If you or a member of your chapter have questions regarding the waiver please contact Jonathan Flannery at jflannery@aha.org.

COVID-19 Frequently Asked Questions

If you are getting questions associated with disinfection, please visit the ASHE COVID-19 Frequently Asked Questions page that address this topic. ASHE also has FAQ sections about Negative Pressure, Construction, Life Safety, Personal Protective Equipment, Filtration, and Alternate Care Sites.

Are you having concerns with your local AHJ during the COVID-19 Pandemic?

ASHE’s Advocacy Team has been working with the National Fire Protection Association and the International Code Council on guidance to AHJ’s on how to address concerns around surge space and alternate care sites. See the attached documents from both NFPA and ICC to allow you and your local chapter to advocate for your area’s efforts in fighting the global pandemic.


Updated April 8, 2020
Dear NEHES members,

ASHE’s COVID-19 page is regularly updating its resources at https://www.ashe.org/COVID19resources. Please continue to visit this page for the most up to date information.

Templates for submitting inspection, testing and maintenance waivers to CMS
https://www.ashe.org/templates-submitting-inspection-testing-and-maintenance-waivers-cms
Health care facilities can access a templated letter and table to request a waiver under Section 1135 of the Social Security Act. The waiver will allow facilities to delay inspection, testing, maintenance and certain drills required by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services. The letter must be modified to include the health care organization’s information. The table, which should be submitted with the letter, gives guidance on how requirements should be modified during the COVID-19 emergency. Waivers help to limit non-essential persons from entering health facilities and risking exposure, while also allowing health care staff to focus on patients.

ASHE issues recommendation for OR use during COVID-19
https://www.ashe.org/ashe-issues-recommendation-or-use-during-covid-19
The Issue
COVID-19 positive patients undergoing aerosol generating procedures (AGPs) increase the risk of transmission of the SARS-CoV-2 virus. CDC recommendation is to ideally perform all AGPs in Airborne Infection Isolation Rooms (AIIRs) which are negative pressure rooms. This recommendation leads individuals to consider performing surgeries and other procedures that are normally performed in positive pressure rooms in negative pressure rooms due to the possibility of aspiration generation.
ASHE Position
ASHE recommends that health care organizations perform surgeries and other procedures on COVID-19 positive patients following the same guidelines for active TB patients:
  • Only medically necessary surgeries or procedures should be scheduled and performed “after hours” or when there are no other non-COVID-19 positive patients within the suite.
  • Develop a dedicated COVID-19 operating room and procedure room.
  • Minimizing the amount of equipment and supplies in room is one proven action to prevent transmission.
  • Minimize staff within the operating or procedure room and all staff involved should wear N95 respirators.
  • All doors to the operating or procedure room should be kept closed as much as possible. Assigning a runner outside of the room who will retrieve medications, instrumentation and other supplies to minimize opening of doors should be considered.
  • If possible intubation and extubation should be performed in an Airborne Infection Isolation Room.
  • Terminal Cleaning should be performed only after the necessary number of air changes has occurred to remove potentially infections particles. See the CDC table B.1 for appropriate time frames.

If it is determined to provide negative pressure for these services leaving the room ventilation in a positive pressure status and utilizing a negative pressure anteroom with separate entrance between operating or procedure room and main hallway is recommended. This anteroom can also be used for donning and doffing PPE and the placing of supplies that are needed after case begins.

If you have any additional resources that you might like to see or any questions that you might have, please reach out to ASHE via the form below and the ASHE COVID-19 Response Team will work through those questions.
https://app.smartsheet.com/b/form/1ae50b037fac4bc1a19d1107132b03bb
ASHE COVID-19 Resources for Health Care Facilities

International Code Council - Survey of U.S. Code Officials Shows Trends in Code Compliance During COVID-19
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