The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has updated infection prevention and control recommendations for nursing homes, accounting for the increased infection risk with the Omicron variant of COVID. Key changes in the new CDC guidance for nursing homes are related to testing, isolation, quarantine, visitation, and source control.
A new recommendation in the guidance suggests that residents who have COVID, are either asymptomatic or have a mild-to-moderate illness, and are not moderately to severely immunocompromised should follow a 10-day isolation period. In this instance, there is no option to shorten the isolation period based on a negative test result, which is different than the recommended option to shorten the isolation period for healthcare personnel.
Residents who come into contact exposure and are not up to date with COVID vaccines should be placed in quarantine even if testing negative and cared for by healthcare using personal protective equipment. Quarantined residents can be removed from isolation after 10 days without symptoms or seven days and a negative test result. Residents with up-to-date COVID vaccines do not need to quarantine but should test for the virus and wear a mask.
The CDC recommends masks as source control for healthcare personnel when caring for residents who have COVID or have close contact exposure. The new guidance also recommends NIOSH-approved or N95 respirators when caring for infected residents in counties with substantial-to-high community transmission.
Download a free tip sheet with updated guidance for nursing homes or read more here.