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EDMUND G. BROWN JR.
Governor

State of California—Health and Human Services Agency
California Department of Public Health


AFL 20-49.2
July 8, 2021


TO:
All Facilities

SUBJECT:
Suspension of Professional Certification Requirements for Home Health Aides (HHAs)
(This AFL supersedes AFL 20-49.1)

AUTHORITY:        Proclamation of a State of Emergency (PDF), Executive Orders N-39-20 (PDF) and N-08-21 (PDF)


All Facilities Letter (AFL) Summary

  • This AFL notifies all facilities of a temporary waiver of specified statutory and regulatory requirements for HHAs due to the state of emergency related to the COVID-19 outbreak.
  • This AFL notifies all facilities that the temporary waiver of specified statutory and regulatory requirements is expiring September 30, 2021. 

Pursuant to the Governor's Executive Order N-39-20 (PDF) related to the COVID-19 state of emergency, the Director of the California Department of Public Health (CDPH) may waive any of the professional certification requirements and amend scopes of practice of Chapter 8 of Division 2 of the Health and Safety Code (HSC) and accompanying regulations with respect to HHAs. Any waiver shall include alternative measures that, under the circumstances, ensure the facility treats patients while protecting public health and safety. CDPH is temporarily waiving specified HHA requirements and suspending regulatory enforcement of the following provisions as specified in this AFL.

California has made significant progress in the response to COVID-19 as a result of the collective efforts taken by Californians and the widespread availability of COVID-19 vaccines. With decreasing case rates, stabilizing hospitalizations, and increased availability of vaccines California is moving Beyond the Blueprint for a Safer Economy.

As a result and incompliance with Executive Order N-08-21 (PDF), the temporary waivers in this AFL will expire September 30, 2021.

Renewal

1. HSC sections 1736.2(c):  HHAs in an active status are encouraged to renew following normal timelines. HHAs seeking certificate renewal may continue to work without completing the application process.

Effective September 30, 2021, the waiver allowing an HHA to continue to work without renewing their certification will expire. All HHAs with an existing waiver must renew their certification prior to September 30, 2021, to continue providing care. CDPH encourages submission of renewal applications well in advance of the waiver expiring.

Expired Certification

2. HSC section 1736.2:  HHAs whose certification expired within the previous 2 years, or whose certification will expire during the state of emergency, may work as an HHA until September 30, 2021 without renewal. All facilities must check CDPH's online verification page to verify employment eligibility. Only those HHAs with a status of "active" or "employable during state of emergency", or who have a copy of their certificate that has been expired within the previous 2 years may be employed.

Effective September 30, 2021, the waiver allowing an HHA whose certification expired within the previous 2 years, or whose certification will expire during the state of emergency to continue to work will expire. All HHAs with an existing waiver must be certified prior to September 30, 2021, to continue providing care.

As a result of this temporary waiver, facilities do not need to submit individual program flexibility requests to employ HHAs using the waivers specified above until September 30, 2021. Requests for waivers not specified in this AFL shall be submitted using the CDPH 5000A (PDF).

If you have any questions about this AFL, please contact the Healthcare Workforce Branch, Aide and Technician Certification Section via email at cna@cdph.ca.gov. Please include reference to AFL 20-49.2: Suspension of Professional Certification Requirements for HHAs in the subject line of the email.

 

Sincerely,

Original Signed by Cassie Dunham

Cassie Dunham

Acting Deputy Director

 

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