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CDC Releases Emergency Guidance for Healthcare Facilities to Prepare for Potential Omicron Surge

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  • CDC Releases Emergency Guidance for Healthcare Facilities to Prepare for Potential Omicron Surge

    CDC Releases Emergency Guidance for Healthcare Facilities to Prepare for Potential Omicron Surge





    #16,448

    The two takeaways from what's been learned about Omicron over the past week are that is appears to be milder than Delta (while still capable of producing severe illness in some patients), and that it spreads so efficiently that the world is on the verge of seeing its biggest COVID pandemic wave yet.

    If the projections are right, over the next 3 or 4 months we are going to see unprecedented community spread of Omicron - even among vaccinated individuals (who will likely see less severe illness) - which could serious impact and degrade the global workforce.

    Some will be out sick and isolating or possibly quarantined due to exposure, others may be caring for a sick friend or family member (see Now, More Than Ever Before, Get A `Flu Buddy'), while others may simply be unwilling to go to work where they fear they may be exposed.

    All sectors of the workforce will be impacted, but absenteeism among Health Care Workers, first responders, and other essential workers, will impact society the hardest.

    We've already seen reports of Hospitals requesting help from the National Guard and/or Federal agencies during this pandemic, and all indications are staffing shortages are about to get much worse. Existing isolation and quarantine rules - particularly for the asymptomatic - can exacerbate absenteeism, which can erode healthcare delivery systems and other essential services.

    The primary reason for quarantine and isolation is to keep those who may be contagious from making the situation worse - but when the virus is spreading at the kind of levels that are anticipated over the next few months - their usefulness declines.

    We've already seen the UK reduce COVID isolation times (see UK: Self-isolation for COVID-19 Cases Reduced From 10 to 7 Days Following Negative LFD tests), and overnight the CDC has followed suit, with their own set of revised recommendations for Health Care Workers.

    Under less dire circumstances, I'm certain that health agencies would prefer keeping the old rules, but that is a luxury that many hospitals probably won't be able to afford in the weeks and months ahead.

    First the statement from the CDC followed by links and excerpts from the new guidelines.

    CDC Releases Emergency Guidance for Healthcare Facilities to Prepare for Potential Omicron Surge

    Media Statement

    For Immediate Release: Thursday, December 23, 2021
    Contact: Media Relations
    (404) 639-3286

    With the growing number of COVID-19 cases from the Omicron variant, and consistent with current understanding of the disease trajectory, CDC is releasing updated
    guidance for isolation and quarantine for healthcare workers, decreasing their isolation time after infection with COVID-19. Additionally, CDC is releasing an update toguidance for contingency and crisis management in the setting of significant healthcare worker shortages.


    These updates provide healthcare facilities with the strategies to limit the effects of staff shortages caused by COVID-19 on patient care and note that:
    • Healthcare workers with COVID-19 who are asymptomatic can return to work after 7 days with a negative test, and that isolation time can be cut further if there are staffing shortages.
    • Healthcare workers who have received all recommended COVID-19 vaccine doses, including a booster, do not need to quarantine at home following high-risk exposures.
    Isolation relates to behavior after a confirmed infection, and quarantine is following exposure to the virus but without a confirmed infection.

    These guidelines apply only to the healthcare workforce and may be revised to continue to protect both healthcare workers and patients as additional information on the Omicron variant becomes available to inform recommended actions. Additional information will be published as guidance on CDC’s website soon and shared with healthcare organizations and provider groups. CDC continues to evaluate isolation and quarantine recommendations for the broader population as we learn about the Omicron variant and will update the public as appropriate. CDC strongly encourages COVID-19 vaccination for everyone 5 and older and boosters for everyone 16 and older – vaccination is the best way to protect yourself and our healthcare system from the impact of COVID-19.

    The following is attributable to CDC Director, Dr. Rochelle Walensky

    “As the healthcare community prepares for an anticipated surge in patients due to Omicron, CDC is updating our recommendations to reflect what we know about infection and exposure in the context of vaccination and booster doses. Our goal is to keep healthcare personnel and patients safe, and to address and prevent undue burden on our healthcare facilities. Our priority, remains prevention—and I strongly encourage all healthcare personnel to get vaccinated and boosted.”




    Some excerpts from the two new guidance documents, but follow the links to read them in their entirety.

    Interim Guidance for Managing Healthcare Personnel with SARS-CoV-2 Infection or Exposure to SARS-CoV-2
    Updated Dec. 23, 2021

    Summary of Recent Changes
    Updates as of December 23, 2021

    As of December 23, 2021

    Due to concerns about increased transmissibility of the SARS-CoV-2
    Omicron variant, this guidance is being updated to enhance protection for healthcare personnel (HCP), patients, and visitors, and to address concerns about potential impacts on the healthcare system given a surge of SARS-CoV-2 infections. These updates will be refined as additional information becomes available to inform recommended actions.
    • Ensure that SARS-CoV-2 testing is performed with a test that iscapable of detectingSARS-CoV-2, even with currently circulating variants in the United States.
    • Updated recommendations regarding when HCP with SARS-CoV-2 infection could return to work
    • The definition of higher-risk exposure was updated to include use of a facemask (instead of a respirator) by HCP if the infected patient is not also wearing a facemask or cloth mask.
    • Added options that would allow asymptomatic HCP with a higher-risk exposure who have not received all COVID-19 vaccine doses, including booster dose, as recommended by CDC to return to work prior to the previously recommended 14-day post-exposure period of work restriction, assuming they do not develop symptoms or test positive for SARS-CoV-2.
    Previous updates

    Key Points

    In general, asymptomatic HCP who have had a higher-risk exposure do not require work restriction if they have received all COVID-19 vaccine doses, including booster dose, as recommended by
    CDC and do not develop symptoms or test positive for SARS-CoV-2. The duration of protection offered by booster doses of vaccine and their effect on emerging variants are not clear; additional updates will be provided as more information becomes available.
    Updated Dec. 23, 2021

    CDC guidance for SARS-CoV-2 infection may be adapted by state and local health departments to respond to rapidly changing local circumstances.

    This guidance provides information on strategies to mitigate healthcare personnel staffing shortages during the COVID-19 pandemic. See
    history of updates.

    Summary of Recent Changes
    Updates as of December 23, 2021

    As of December 23, 2021

    Due to concerns about increased transmissibility of the SARS-CoV-2
    Omicron variant, this guidance is being updated to enhance protection for healthcare personnel (HCP), patients, and visitors and to address concerns about potential impacts on the healthcare system given a surge of SARS-CoV-2 infections. These updates will be refined as additional information becomes available to inform recommended actions.
    • Ensure that SARS-CoV-2 testing is performed with a test that is capable of detecting SARS-CoV-2, even with the currently circulating variants in the United States.
    • Updated contingency and crisis strategies for mitigating staff shortages.

    (Continue . . . )


    https://afludiary.blogspot.com/2021/...dance-for.html
    All medical discussions are for educational purposes. I am not a doctor, just a retired paramedic. Nothing I post should be construed as specific medical advice. If you have a medical problem, see your physician.

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