CDC Updates COVID-19 Infection Prevention and Control Guidance
Updated February 8, 2022
With the growing number of COVID-19 cases and the continued strain on the healthcare system from the Omicron variant, CDC has updated its guidance to protect healthcare workers, patients, and visitors. These updates to the Interim Infection Prevention and Control Recommendations for Healthcare Personnel During the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) Pandemic align this guidance with prior updates made for healthcare personnel with higher-risk exposures in the Interim Guidance for Managing Healthcare Personnel with SARS-COV-2 Infection or Exposure to SARS-CoV-2 released on December 23, 2021. This guidance is applicable to all US settings where healthcare is delivered, including dental facilities.
This guidance on infection prevention and control will continue to be refined as additional information becomes available. Below is a summary of recent changes:
- Empiric use of Transmission-Based Precautions (quarantine) is recommended for patients who have had close contact with someone with SARS-CoV-2 infection if they are not up to date with all recommended COVID-19 vaccine doses.
- In general, quarantine is not needed for asymptomatic patients who are up to date with all recommended COVID-19 vaccine doses or who have recovered from SARS-CoV-2 infection in the prior 90 days; potential exceptions are described in the guidance. However, some of these patients should still be tested as described in the testing section of the guidance.
- A test-based strategy and (if available) consultation with infectious disease experts is now recommended for determining the duration of Transmission-Based Precautions for patients with SARS-CoV-2 infection who are moderately to severely immunocompromised.
- Included additional examples when universal respirator use could be considered
- Additional updates that will have implications for healthcare facilities were made in the following guidance documents
Healthcare personnel continue to be on the front line of the nation’s fight against COVID-19. By providing critical care to those who are or might be infected with the virus that causes COVID-19, some healthcare personnel are at increased risk of infection from COVID-19. CDC recommends healthcare personnel get vaccinated against COVID-19 as soon as possible. Examples of what it means to be “up to date” with vaccinations are described in Stay Up to Date with Your Vaccines.
Dental healthcare personnel (DHCP) should regularly consult their state dental boardsexternal icon and state or local health departments for current information and recommendations and requirements specific to their jurisdictions, which might change based on level of community transmission in the county where their healthcare facility is located. As a reminder, DHCP are licensed by their state regulatory body and should practice according to their state dental practice acts or other relevant regulations.
CDC continues to update public health guidance based on the best available science. You can find the most up-to-date information on CDC’s COVID-19 page.