The Perfect Enemy | Special Covid-19 Hiring Authority Extended - FEDmanager
April 9, 2024

Special Covid-19 Hiring Authority Extended – FEDmanager

Special Covid-19 Hiring Authority Extended  FEDmanager

The Office of Personnel Management (OPM) is extending its Covid-19 special hiring authority, to coordinate with the Biden Administration’s anticipated end date for the Covid-19 public health emergency. 

The OPM move extends the Schedule A special hiring authority for additional positions needed to respond to Covid-19 until May 11, 2023, the same date the administration announced it anticipates ending both the National Emergency and the public health emergency.

Appointments are limited to positions that are needed in direct response to fighting Covid-19. The positions are filled on a temporary basis for up to one year and may be extended for an additional year.

In a memo, OPM Director Kiran Ahuja writes the agency determined it is “justified to allow the continued use of the authority” until May 11 and that OPM “understands that during this time, agencies need more tools to conduct strategic, targeted hiring for specific, short-term roles to meet mission and/or hiring needs.”

OPM first authorized the use of excepted service appointments for the pandemic on March 20, 2020 at the beginning of the Covid-19 pandemic in the United States.

The excepted service authority allowed agencies to bypass public posting requirements on USAJobs.gov and to make temporary appointments.

CMS Prepares for End of Covid Emergency

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Service (CMS) is among the agencies releasing guidance ahead of the end of the Covid-19 public health emergency. 

The CMS guidance outlines changes once the public health emergency expires to vaccine coverage, Covid-19 testing, treatments, telehealth, hospital at home, and other services in its document.

Among the notable changes: Americans will no longer be able to get free at-home covid tests from the federal government, hospitals will lose some of their pandemic funding, and Medicaid recipients could lose access to telehealth services as well as access to certain Covid-19 medications.