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Is there anything specific a practice needs to do if they allow students to join their staff during the COVID-19 pandemic?

First, the practice should have each such student who is serving during the pandemic to sign the equivalent of a COVID-19 consent form, which can be found here. This consent form confirms that the student is clearly warned that by being present during the pandemic, they are at a heightened level of health risk. Also make sure all students receive basic Safety and OSHA training as it relates to the practice, including at a minimum:

  • Emergency protocols, including fire training.
  • How to report any exposure or injury while in the practice.
  • Explanation of the role of a student in the practice, including restrictions or limitations.

Second, the students, like all other staff, must be provided all necessary PPE and adhere to all CDC (or other) guidelines used in the practice to protect all who are there.

Third, be sure that the practice does NOT, directly or indirectly, imply to any patient that the student is anything more than a student regarding their skills/training.

Finally, all students should sign Curi’s approved BAA covering them while they are working with the practice.

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All Curi recommendations are based on current CDC criteria at the time of publication. CDC guidance for SARS-CoV-2 infection may, or may not, be adopted by state and local health departments to respond to rapidly changing local circumstances. Providers should always check with their local health department to see if the CDC’s guidance on any given topic has been modified (particularly if more restrictive) from the CDC’s recommended guidelines. Follow this link https://www.cdc.gov/publichealthgateway/healthdirectories/index.html for contact information to your state/local health department. If local recommendations vary from those of the CDC, and you are unsure what recommendations to follow, then it is safer to follow the more restrictive guidelines/recommendations.