The Department of Health (DOH) and Department of Labor and Industry (L&I) are committed to taking action to help prevent the spread of communicable diseases in temporary worker housing (TWH) sites. Following the adoption of nine emergency rules aimed at protecting occupants of TWH sites, we proposed and adopted permanent rule changes.
Over the course of a year, we held in-person public hearings in communities around the state and one virtual public hearing to receive feedback on the draft rules. After the public comment period closed, we reviewed all rule comments and made clarifying rule edits as needed based off of those comments. The final rule was filed September 19, 2023 and will be effective on November 1, 2023.
During the COVID-19 pandemic, we continued to review new information, data, and science to determine necessary requirements to protect TWH occupants from COVID-19 and similar airborne infectious disease hazards. This information was used to adopt permanent rule requirements to protect occupants living in TWH housing from communicable disease hazards.
Summary of Changes
WAC 246-358-010 / 296-307-16103 Definitions.
Added and revised definitions to aid in rule clarity.
WAC 246-358-050 / 296-307-16127 TWH management plan.
- Clarified that the TWH complaint line was multi-lingual and not bilingual.
- Added requirement that updates to the TWH management plan must be submitted to DOH within 10 calendar days.
- Clarified current rule language to provide the updated plan to occupants in a language or languages understood by the occupants.
WAC 246-358-076 / 296-307-16146 Ventilation. (NEW)
Specific ventilation requirements for all TWH buildings to maximize outdoor air intake and maintaining maintenance logs and other documentation.
WAC 246-358-077 / 296-307-16147 Tents.
- Made non-substantive clarifying edits such as grammar and punctuation, reflecting updates made to definitions.
- Added requirement to close outside openings when external conditions pose a health or safety risk.
WAC 246-358-175 / 296-307-16190 Disease prevention and control.
- Revised the disease prevention and control requirements to:
- Require cooperation with the local health jurisdiction and DOH in the investigation and control of confirmed cases, suspected cases, outbreaks and suspected outbreaks of communicable diseases or notifiable conditions;
- Update reporting requirements for communicable diseases;
- Require an implementation of an infection control program;
- Require the posting of education about health and safety practices in a language commonly understood by TWH occupants.
- Allow community-based outreach workers and community health workers to reach out to TWH occupants;
- Establishes a communicable disease and prevention response plan which includes identifying and isolating occupants with suspect and confirmed cases, and providing medical assistance; and
- Provide specific training for those responsible for executing the communicable disease and prevention response plan.
|Document||What's This?||Date Filed|
|CR-101 (PDF)||Announces intent of rulemaking||August 23, 2022|
CR-102 (PDF) L&I
|Announces public hearing on draft rules||May 3, 2023|
|Significant Analysis (PDF)||Cost Benefit Analysis||N/A|
|SBEIS (PDF)||Small Business Economic Impact Statement||May 3, 2023|
|Chapter 246-358 WAC (PDF) (English)||Final DOH rule language as adopted (English)|
|Chapter 246-358 WAC (Spanish)||Final DOH rule language as adopted (Spanish)||September 19, 2023|
|Chapter 296-307 WAC (PDF) (English)||Final L&I rule language as adopted (English)|
|Chapter 296-307 WAC (Spanish)||Final L&I rule language as adopted (Spanish)||September 19, 2023|
CR-103 (PDF) L&I
|Announces the adoption of rulemaking||September 19, 2023|
|Concise Explanatory Statement (PDF)||Explains the reason for the rule, summary of comments, and documents the differences between the proposed rule and the rule as adopted.||N/A|
|Rule Effective||November 1, 2023|
|Document||What's This||Date Published|
|Communicable Disease Prevention and Response Plan (PDF) (English)||Template for operators to use to build the required Communicable Disease Prevention and Response Plan. (English)||May 2023|
|Communicable Disease Prevention and Response Plan (PDF) (Spanish)||Template for operators to use to build the required Communicable Disease Prevention and Response Plan. (Spanish)||May 2023|
|Temporary Worker Housing Management Plan (PDF) (English)||Template for operators to use to build a plan to assure that the housing is operated in a safe and secure manner as is kept within its approved capacity. (English)||June 2023|
|Temporary Worker Housing Management Plan (PDF) (Spanish)||Template for operators to use to build a plan to assure that the housing is operated in a safe and secure manner as is kept within its approved capacity. (Spanish)||June 2023|
|Communicable Disease Symptoms Poster (PDF) (English)||A visual education guide showing common symptoms of communicable diseases that may be a sign to seek medical attention. (English)||August 2023|
|(Communicable Disease Symptoms Poster (PDF) (Spanish)||A visual education guide showing common symptoms of communicable diseases that may be a sign to seek medical attention. (Spanish)||August 2023|
Department of Health
Department of Labor and Industries