Announcements

Emergency and Temporary Rules

April 16, 2020

The Board of Examiners for Speech and Language Pathologists and Audiologists filed emergency and temporary rules 21 NCAC 64 .0108, 21 NCAC 64 .1101, 21 NCAC 64 .1102, 21 NCAC 64 .1103, 21 NCAC 64 .1104 and 21 NCAC 64 .1105. The notices for the proposed emergency rule-making and temporary rule-making are posted on the OAH website and this Board’s website: https://www.oah.nc.gov/

https://files.nc.gov/ncoah/documents/Rules/21-NCAC-64-.0108-.1101-.1105-proposed-temporary-rules.pdf

Reason for Action:  On March 10, 2020, the Governor of North Carolina, by issuing Executive Order No. 116, declared a state of emergency to coordinate a response and enact protective measures to help prevent the spread of COVID-19. The COVID-19 is a respiratory disease that can result in serious illness or death. The COVID-19, previously unidentified in humans, spreads easily from person to person. Once an outbreak of the COVID-19 begins, it is difficult to contain. The World Health Organization, the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, and the United States Department of Health and Human Services have declared COVID-19 a public health threat and emergency. On March 12, 2020, the Governor of North Carolina and the NC Department of Health and Human Services recommended high risk persons stay at home, that schools implement plans for distance or e-learning, that employers and employees use teleworking technologies, and that mass gatherings should cancel, postpone, and modify these events or offer online streaming services. Finally, to comply with Governor Cooper’s recent Executive Orders and to alleviate access to health care concerns during COVID-19 outbreak and for the public safety of patients.

Why is adherence to notice and hearing requirements contrary to the public interest and that the immediate adoption of the rule required by a serious and unforeseen threat to the public health or safety? – 21 NCAC 64 .0108. The public health threat posed by COVID-19 requires immediate action to limit mass gatherings, increase social distancing, and limit exposure of high risk individuals. It is in the public’s interest to immediately adopt rules that limit the Commission’s regulated audience’s exposure to COVID-19 and allow for relaxed requirements during the time of this public health emergency. This rule alleviates access to health care concerns during the COVID-19 outbreak and promotes the public safety of patients.

Why is adherence to notice and hearing requirements contrary to the public interest and that the immediate adoption of the rule required by a serious and unforeseen threat to the public health or safety? 21 NCAC 64 .1101, 21 NCAC 64 .1102, 21 NCAC 64 .1103, 21 NCAC 64 .1104 and 21 NCAC 64 .1105. The public health threat posed by COVID-19 requires immediate action to limit mass gatherings, increase social distancing, and limit exposure of high risks individuals.  It is in the public’s interest to immediately adopt rules that expand the pool of healthcare providers, especially in settings where there are high risk individuals (nursing homes, assisted living facilities, etc.) and allow audiology assistants to perform limited tasks that are generally performed by audiologists.  This rule alleviates access to health care concerns during the COVID-19 outbreak and promotes the public safety of patients.