CDC Updates COVID-19 Guidance for Health Care Providers

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Friday, Sept. 23 released updates to certain COVID-19 guidance pertaining to health care providers (HCP). The CDC cites as its rationale for these decisions the high levels of vaccine- and infectioninduced immunity, the availability of effective treatment and prevention tools, and the need to streamline and consolidate current guidance. The updates include changes to the following: Infection Control, Potential Exposure at Work and Mitigating Staff Shortages. Recognizing the staffing challenges facing hospitals and health systems, the agency updated its conventional strategies to advise that, in most circumstances, asymptomatic HCP with higher-risk exposures do not require work restrictions. This update applies to all HCP, regardless of vaccination status. As a result of these changes, the contingency and crisis strategies about earlier return to work for this group of HCP was removed. In addition to this change, the updated guidance for CDC also provides recommendations for hospitals and health systems pertaining to mitigating staffing shortages under conventional, contingency and crisis strategies. Additional details on the CDC guidance updates can be found here.