Limits

Maryland to remove child care capacity limits, allow indoor visitation at nursing homes

As coronavirus infections and deaths continue at a low, steady pace in Maryland, Gov. Larry Hogan on Thursday relaxed more pandemic-induced restrictions — and encouraged residents to prepare for the upcoming flu season.

Nursing homes that have limited visitors to outdoor meetings will now be able to offer indoor visits if the facility doesn’t have an outbreak or any new positive cases in the last 14 days, Hogan said. If the local jurisdiction’s positivity rate rises above 10%, no visitors will be allowed, as well.

And child care centers can increase the number of children they serve. Providers will now be able to operate at full capacity.

Since May, Hogan has gradually lifted restrictions so that almost all businesses are open in some fashion, though most must operate with capacity limits and follow health precautions. Masks continue to be required in indoor spaces and outdoors when social distancing is not possible.

The expansion of child care will likely come as a relief to both child care businesses that operate on tight margins and parents who have struggled to find quality care while public schools continue to operate remotely.

Child care centers have been limited to no more than 15 individuals per classroom since July — an increase over restrictions from earlier in the pandemic, but less than the pre-pandemic limits of up to 20 children per group for certain ages.

State schools superintendent Karen Salmon said health officials have seen few cases in child care centers, calling the operators “heroes” who go out of their way to keep children safe. But even as more providers reopened — 82% — demand remains high due to classroom restrictions.

Salmon said that hopefully this action will help crack down on the number of unlicensed child care centers that have opened up to facilitate

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Iowa eases nursing home visitor limits amid coronavirus outbreak

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For the country’s 1.4 million nursing home residents, lockdowns brought on by the coronavirus pandemic have meant more isolation. Those who call Southern Pines home are still grappling with seeing loved ones only through window panes or screens. (July 17)

AP Domestic

Iowa officials moved Thursday to ease visitor restrictions at many nursing homes, where thousands of frail Iowans have been isolated since March because of the COVID-19 threat.

The new rules allow for indoor visits at nursing homes, especially in parts of the state with relatively low transmission of the coronavirus.

The coronavirus, which causes COVID-19, has ripped through dozens of Iowa care facilities. Nursing home residents have accounted for 702 of Iowa’s 1,360 deaths from the disease, the Iowa Department of Public Health reported on its website Thursday.

Emma Jean Schrock, right, visits with her niece, Joyce Butler, through a window at the Pleasantview nursing home in Kalona. (Photo: Special to the Register)

The department said in a news release Thursday that the new rules balance coronavirus prevention efforts with residents’ social needs. “Nursing home residents derive value from the physical, emotional, and spiritual support they receive through visitation from family and friends,” the news release said. It said the changes in state rules follow new federal guidance on the issue.

Many nursing homes began setting up outdoor visits this summer, but such arrangements have become more difficult as autumn sets in.

The new state rules allow indoor visits at nursing homes in counties where less than 10% of people being tested for the virus are coming up positive. The guidance includes suggestions on how such visits can be handled safely, including the use of masks, distancing and hand-washing. It also says Plexiglas dividers may be used. 

In counties with higher positivity rates, nursing home visits should

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Contractor Licensing Case Limits Disgorgement Remedy in CA

Contractors performing work in California are required to be licensed by the California State License Board (“CSLB”).  Cal. Bus. & Prof. Code §7065.  Except for sole proprietors, contractors are typically licensed through “qualifiers,” i.e., officers or employees who take a licensing exam and meet other requirements to become licensed on behalf of the contractor’s company.  Contractors who perform work in California without being properly licensed are subject to a world of hurt, including civil and criminal penalties (see, e.g., Cal. Bus. & Prof. Code §§ 7028, 7028.6, 7028.7, 7117, and Cal. Labor Code §§ 1020-1022), and the inability to maintain a lawsuit to recover compensation for their work.  Cal. Bus & Prof. Code § 7031(a); Hydra Tech Systems Ltd. v. Oasis Water Park, 52 Cal.3rd 988 (1991).

But arguably the worst ramification of not being property licensed is that established in Business & Professions Code Section 7031(b), which provides that any person who uses the services of an unlicensed contractor may bring an action for the return of all compensation paid for the performance of the work, commonly known as “disgorgement.”  This remedy is particularly harsh (often described as “draconian”) because it makes no allowance for the fact that an unlicensed contractor will likely have already paid out the bulk of its compensation to its subcontractors, suppliers and vendors, but nevertheless can be ordered to disgorge all compensation.

Given the complexity of California’s contractor license law, the disgorgement penalty threatens not just contractors who willfully evade licensing, but also those who inadvertently fail to keep their license current, those who are improperly licensed for the specific work they are performing, and those who do not meet particular underlying licensing requirements, e.g., failure to maintain workers compensation insurance unless truly exempt, and (arguably) failure

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