HCAI Facility Development Division COVID-19 Resources

General COVID-19 Information

Suspension and Restoration of Temporary Conditions

March 18, 2022

To: All Licensed Healthcare Facilities
Subject: Suspension and Restoration of Temporary Conditions
Pursuant to All Facilities Letter (AFL) 20-26.12 from California Department of Public Health (CDPH), issued on November 12, 2021, stating that CDPH provided 60-day advance notice that temporary waivers of specified regulatory requirements will expire on June 30, 2022. Facilities that have a continued need for flexibility can submit a Form 5000a (PDF) Emergency Program Flexibility request to CHCQDutyOfficer@cdph.ca.gov or Form 5000 (PDF) Program Flexibility request to their local district office. This AFL supersedes AFL 20-26.11 issued on November 12, 2021.

All other temporary changes of use or modification to the physical environment must be restored to original condition by August 11, 2022 (six weeks after expiration of the waiver) in compliance with the code it was constructed under. Restoration to original conditions must be reported to Department of Health Care Access and Information (HCAI) so that confirmation may be made. Where such temporary changes are to be made permanent, projects must be submitted to HCAI for review and approval immediately whether the changes involve construction or not. Projects intended to be made permanent must meet all current California Building Standards Code requirements and brought into full compliance. Non-compliant conditions cannot remain in use beyond June 30, 2022 without approval by CDPH per the Program Flexibility procedure above.

If air pressure adjustments were made to specific rooms or areas in response to COVID 19, these areas will require documentation to show what the rooms were prior to the alteration and plans to return them to previous compliant conditions. If no pre-balance report was completed or they cannot be substantiated, pressures must be adjusted to comply with current code requirements.

If you have any questions about this notice, please contact your region’s Plan Review Supervisor or Regional Compliance Officer (RCO).

Chris Tokas
Deputy Director, Facilities Development Division
Department of Health Care Access and Information

For reference, see the Governor’s executive order.

California Department of Public Health Guidance

AFL 18-09 Requesting Increased Patient Accommodations Including Medical Surge Tent Use.

AFL 20-26 Suspension of Regulatory Enforcement of Hospital Requirements re-issued March 16, 2022  (originally issued 3/20/2020 and revised on 7/3/2020, 2/1/2021, 4/28/2021, 7/16/2021 and 11/12/2021).

For temporary changes of use or modifications to the physical environment for COVID-19, an HCAI permit is not required until the end of the waiver date in AFL 20-26.  HCAI compliance officer or other HCAI field staff should be informed of these temporary changes. To determine the HCAI field staff responsible for a facility, select the appropriate facility in HCAI Facility Detail.  Notify CDPH as required by AFL 20-26.  

AFL 20-48 Transfers to Low Acuity Alternate Care Sites During Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) Pandemic.

AFL 21-09 Additional Temporary Waivers Tied to the Hospital Surge Public Health Order

See list of COVID-19 Facility Waivers granted by CDPH.

Surge Tents

See guidance provide by California Department of Public Health in AFL-18-09 .

Where surge tents do not meet State Fire Marshal requirements, HCAI recommends providing a fire watch per Policy Intent Notice 14.

Negative Pressure Room

See Policy Intent Notice 4.  Even though this was written for tuberculosis (TB) cases, this applies for the current COVID-19 Emergency.

Interim guidance for Ventilation, Filtration, and Air Quality in Indoor Environments

See CDPH’s Interim guidance for Ventilation, Filtration, and Air Quality in Indoor Environments. This Guidance is intended to be used for buildings for which the state or local health department is permitting business, assembly, or other occupancy or use to occur indoors.

Vaccine Freezer Permit Checklist

See checklist (v6, dated 12/17/2020)

This is intended to be used for the expedited review and installation of Ultra Low Temperature Freezers used for the storage of COVID vaccines in California healthcare facilities. The checklist summarizes and references the applicable requirements from the Department of Health Care Access and Information (HCAI) as adopted and amended to the California Building Standards Code.

Applicants should verify compliance of the plans submitted for building permit with all referenced requirements from HCAI when completing this checklist. The checklist should be completed by the project architect or engineer based on the design actually reflected in the plans at the time of completion of the checklist. This checklist only references HCAI requirements associated with the
installation of these freezers. Upon receipt of the project with this checklist, the project will be expedited.  If all items with an * comply, no permit or anchorage is required. Coordinate with Compliance Officer.

Buildup of Frost or Ice on Vaporizers and Pipes due to High Flow Medical Oxygen

Use of Plastic Barriers Used for Separation of COVID Positive Areas in Healthcare Facilities

HCAI Emergency Operation Events

Log of events in HCAI Emergency Operations:

These documents are subject to frequent changes as new information is received.

Contact Information

For questions or comments related to this website, please email HCAI COVID19 Emergency Operations at EOC@hcai.ca.gov