On September 10, 2020, the Cabinet for Health and Family Service’s Department for Public Health issued guidance clarifying that in the face of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic and the reopening of all industries in the state, only healthcare workers and first responders fall into the category of “critical” workers who may be exempt from specific quarantine requirements if exposed to a confirmed COVID-19 case. This classification narrows the definition of what constitutes an “essential critical infrastructure worker” under the federal advisory list on the Essential Critical Infrastructure Workforce for workforces in Kentucky.
On August 17, 2020, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) published new guidance stating that effective September 1, 2020, hospitals will be required to document a positive COVID-19 laboratory test to receive a 20% increase in the MS-DRG weighting factor for their inpatients being treated for COVID-19. Positive tests must be demonstrated using only the results of viral testing consistent with CDC guidelines either performed during the hospital admission or not more than 14 days prior to the hospital admission (certain limited exceptions apply).
On August 3, 2020, the Kentucky Department for Public Health (KDPH) issued Confirmed or Suspected COVID-19 Disease Clearance Guidance on determining when to release an individual from isolation and/or return the individual to work. The KDPH recommends a symptom-based strategy to determine resolution of COVID-19 clinical disease and likely infectivity. The guidance states that it represents KDPH’s best expert judgment on this date and will continue to evolve as understanding of COVID-19 improves.
On July 10, 2020, the Kentucky Cabinet for Health and Family Services (CHFS) issued guidance to health care facilities clarifying that the lab result is the source document for billing start/stop dates. Billing starts when the positive test result is received and continues until the COVID-19 resident is released from isolation (i.e., considered recovered) based on negative lab results. EXAMPLE: Test results are available on a Friday night, but not pulled until Saturday morning, so Friday would be billable if COVID-level care was provided through that day.
Shortly after releasing its guidelines for reopening courts in the Commonwealth, the Supreme Court of Kentucky provided further guidance in regards to upcoming trials. The Order builds in time for courts to prioritize criminal proceedings that have been delayed as a result of COVID-19. As such, the Order makes the following provisions:
- All jury trials currently scheduled to occur before August 1, 2020 are to be postponed and rescheduled no sooner than August 1, 2020 with in-custody criminal trials having priority over all other proceedings.
- Grand jury proceedings may resume on June 1, 2020 and may be conducted remotely via available telephonic or video technology subject to the applicable Rules of Criminal Procedure.
- Access to view the return of indictments pursuant to RCr 5.20 must be provided to members of the public and media through live audio or video or by digital recording.
- Any case where the 60-day period in RCr 5.22(3) or an extension thereof was tolled by operation [of] Order 2020-28 shall be presented to the grand jury on or before July 30, 2020. The Commonwealth’s Attorney is encouraged to give priority to cases where the defendant is in custody and proceedings have been tolled by the Supreme Court’s response to the COVID-19 emergency.
- Existing grand jury panels may be extended at the discretion of the court, subject to the 20-day limitation set out in AP Part II, Sec. 19(3).
- Jurors who are ill, caring for someone who is ill, or in a high-risk category shall have their jury service postponed to a later date.
- Jurors who are unable to wear a facial covering because doing so would pose a serious threat to their health or safety shall have their jury service postponed to a later date.
- Jurors who were laid off, became unemployed, or otherwise suffered an economic loss due to the COVID-19 pandemic, and who show they would suffer further economic loss as a result of jury service, shall be excused for undue hardship.
The Order, which can be found here, will take effect on June 1, 2020 and shall remain in effect until further guidance is published. Return here for additional updates on the judiciary’s response to COVID-19.
March 12, 2020
The United States Department of Labor (DOL) issued guidance for employers to address questions about wage and hour issues that employers may face in dealing with the coronavirus. It is posted here. In addition, the DOL posted information about leave under the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) for employers. It can be found here.