CDC Updates Interim COVID-19 Guidance for Certain Healthcare Settings

September 27, 2022

On September 23, 2022, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) updated its interim COVID-19 guidance for all U.S. settings where healthcare is delivered (including nursing homes and home health). This update was nominally done, in the words of the CDC, “to reflect the high levels of vaccine-and infection-induced immunity and the availability of effective treatments and prevention tools.” Among other things, the revisions make mask requirements optional for health care facilities in regions where community transmission is not labeled “high” — currently just one-quarter of the country. In addition, the CID guidance was updated to:
  • note that vaccination status is no longer used to inform source control, screening testing, or post-exposure recommendations;
  • clarified that screening testing of asymptomatic healthcare personnel, including those in nursing homes, is at the discretion of the healthcare facility;
  • note that asymptomatic patients no longer require empiric use of Transmission-Based Precautions following close contact with someone with SARS-CoV-2 infection;
  • archive the Interim Infection Prevention and Control Recommendations to Prevent SARS-CoV-2 Spread in Nursing Homes; 
  • revise screening testing recommendations for nursing home admissions; and
  • clarify the types of long-term care settings for whom the healthcare infection prevention and control recommendations apply.