This week, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) updated interim infection prevention and control recommendations to prevent COVID-19 spread in nursing homes. The updates include:
- Merging of two prior guidance documents: “Responding to COVID-19 in Nursing Homes” and “Performing Facility-wide COVID-19 Testing in Nursing Homes.
- Visitation and physical distancing measures.
- Health department notification criteria to be consistent with Council of State and Territorial Epidemiologist guidance for reporting.
Additions to recommendations include:
- Information on importance of vaccinating resident and healthcare personnel (HCP) with appropriate links.
- Proper use and handling of personal protective equipment (PPE).
- Universal PPE use to align with the interim infection prevention and control guidance for HCP.
- A description of when it may be appropriate for a resident with a suspected COVID-19 infection to “shelter-in-place”.
- Considerations for situations when it might be appropriate to keep the room door open for a resident with suspected or confirmed COVID-19 infection.
- Management of residents who had close contact with someone with COVID-19 infection, including a description of quarantine recommendations (resident placement, recommended PPE, and duration of quarantine).
- Addressing circumstances when quarantine is recommended for residents who leave the facility.
- Responding to newly identified COVID-19 infected resident or HCP.
- Addressing quarantine and work exclusion considerations for asymptomatic residents and HCP who are within 90 days of resolved infection.
Even as nursing homes resume normal practices and begin relaxing restrictions, nursing homes must sustain core IPC practices and remain vigilant for COVID-19 infection among residents and HCP in order to prevent spread and protect residents and staff.