CDC Updates COVID-19 Infection Prevention and Control Guidance

Updated September 10, 2021

CDC has updated its infection prevention and control (IPC) guidance for healthcare settings. These updates do not contain substantial changes in recommended practices but, rather, have primarily been made to streamline and consolidate existing healthcare IPC guidance so that it is applicable to multiple settings and scenarios, making it easier to for healthcare providers to find relevant guidance. As a part of this update, multiple setting-specific guidance documents, such as those for dental offices, assisted living facilities, emergency medical services, and dialysis clinics, have been streamlined and combined into the main IPC guidance for healthcare settings.

The updated Infection Control Guidance for Healthcare Professionals about Coronavirus (COVID-19) is applicable to all U.S. settings where healthcare is delivered, including dental settings. Dental healthcare personnel (DHCP) should refer to this guidance, which includes a section specific to dental settings, for infection control considerations during the COVID-19 pandemic. As of September 10, 2021, the Guidelines for Dental Settings will display a web banner noting that the page will no longer be updated, and webpage visitors will be redirected to the Infection Control Guidance for Healthcare Professionals about Coronavirus (COVID-19) page.

Updates to the interim IPC recommendations include:

  • Clarified source control recommendations for healthcare personnel, patients, and visitors, to better align with community guidance, including limited circumstances where fully vaccinated individuals could choose not to wear source control.
  • Updated quarantine recommendations for fully vaccinated patients with exposure to SARS-CoV-2 to be consistent with community guidance.

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.

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 documents based on the best available science. You can find the most up-to-date information about infection prevention and control practices on CDC’s COVID-19 page.