Given the “current high levels of [COVID] vaccine- and infection-induced immunity and the availability of effective treatments and prevention tools”, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recently updated its COVID-19 infection prevention and control recommendations for healthcare personnel. The CDC stated that the guidance is applicable to “all U.S. settings where healthcare is delivered”.
This guidance provides recommended infection prevention and control practices for routine care, as well as when caring for patients with suspected or confirmed COVID infection. The CDC included the following changes:
- Updated to note that vaccination status is no longer used to inform source control, screening testing, or post-exposure recommendations
- Updated circumstances when use of source control is recommended, such as when community transmission levels are high
- Updated circumstances when universal use of personal protective equipment should be considered, such as when community transmission levels increase
- Updated recommendations for testing frequency to detect potential for variants with shorter incubation periods and to address the risk for false negative antigen tests in people without symptoms
- Clarified that screening testing of asymptomatic healthcare personnel is at the discretion of the healthcare facility
- Updated to note that, in general, asymptomatic patients no longer require empiric use of Transmission-Based Precautions following close contact with someone with SARS-CoV-2 infection
The CDC guidance also includes setting-specific considerations for dental facilities, emergency medical services, dialysis facilities, and nursing homes.
Risk Management Recommendations for Health Centers
Considering that this CDC guidance provides an updated framework for facilities to implement infection prevention and control practices based on their individual circumstances, health centers should review their current operational plans, policies and procedures and determine whether to update their infection prevention and control practices based upon the latest CDC recommendations. Health centers should remember that other local, territorial, tribal, state, and federal requirements may apply, including those promulgated by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA).
For additional information, please visit the CDC’s website.
To register for FTLF’s trainings on relevant topics, please visit learning.ftlf.com.