CDC Eases COVID Guidelines for Healthcare Workers, Nursing Homes

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) loosened many COVID-related restrictions in healthcare and for nursing homes.

QUICK FACTS:
  • The CDC eased several pandemic-related infection control guidelines for many nursing homes and healthcare facilities last week.
  • Outside of communities experiencing “high” levels of transmission, workers are no longer required to wear masks indoors.
  • “Updates were made to reflect the high levels of vaccine-and infection-induced immunity and the availability of effective treatments and prevention tools,” the CDC’s website says.
  • The agency still has exceptions for where masking “remains recommended,” including during an outbreak among patients or “when caring for patients who are moderately to severely immunocompromised.” 
  • Testing is now “generally not recommended” for asymptomatic workers who recently recovered from COVID in the past 30 days, but an antigen test “should be considered” for those who were infected 90 days prior.
CDC UPDATED GUIDELINES:
  • Vaccination status is “no longer used to inform source control, screening testing, or post-exposure recommendations.”
  • Screening testing of “asymptomatic healthcare personnel, including those in nursing homes, is at the discretion of the healthcare facility.”
  • Asymptomatic patients “no longer require empiric use of Transmission-Based Precautions following close contact with someone with SARS-CoV-2 infection.”
BACKGROUND:
  • Earlier this month, the CDC faced scrutiny when the director acknowledged publicly for the first time that the agency gave false information about its COVID-19 vaccine safety monitoring.
  • Dr. Rochelle Walensky, the agency’s director, said in a letter made public on Sept. 12 that the CDC did not analyze certain types of adverse event reports at all in 2021, despite the agency previously saying it started in February 2021.
  • “CDC performed PRR analysis between March 25, 2022, through July 31, 2022. CDC also recently addressed a previous statement made to the Epoch Times to clarify PRR were not run between February 26, 2021, to September 30, 2021,” Walensky said.