CDC Guidance – Nursing Homes & Assisted Living – Here is a rundown of some of the latest CDC recommendations for nursing homes and assisted living facilities.
Nursing homes and assisted living facilities have been in the spotlight ever since the COVID-19 pandemic began over two years ago. These facilities, which offer a variety of services for medical and personal care, also have some of the most at risk individuals. In terms of infection and virus threats that could lead to hospitalizations and untimely deaths, the concern has always existed to keep those frequenting these facilities protected. For this reason, the CDC and other governing bodies have placed specific rules in place to help to best protect patients and staff from infections and serious diseases.
Older adults living in congregate settings are at high risk of being affected by respiratory and other pathogens, such as SARS-CoV-2 – so protection must be a priority.
The latest industry specific CDC guidance for nursing homes and assisted living facilities includes updates to some of the prior mandates but still takes into account the rising instance of the Omicron variant.
Here is a rundown of some of the latest CDC recommendations. (See the full description of recommendations here.)
Quarantine is Still Recommended
To protect everyone against transmission of SARS-CoV-2, and as a general rule, it is still recommended that anyone who has had close contact with someone who is infected should quarantine if they are not up to date with all vaccinations.
PPE Should Still Be Used
To protect staff while they work, the use of PPE including alcohol-based hand sanitizer with 60-95% alcohol, personal protective equipment (PPE), and supplies for cleaning and disinfection should be available at all times. Training and policies for proper use, handling and implementation of PPE should also be enforced. When caring for residents with suspected or confirmed SARS-CoV-2 infection, healthcare professionals should use full PPE (gowns, gloves, eye protection, and a NIOSH-approved N95 or equivalent or higher-level respirator).
The CDC recommends that all staff and patients remain up to date with COVID-19 vaccine doses and that vaccination numbers be reported weekly to the NHSN LTCF Weekly HCP & Resident COVID-19 Vaccination Reporting module. State and organizational mandates are also in place so be sure to check for additional rules on vaccinations.
It is highly encouraged by the CDC that long term care facilities use alternative methods for visitations including virtual meetings with video conferencing technologies when possible. It is also important for these facilities to inform families and all building visitors about the rules. Recommendations to remain up to date on all vaccinations and boosters, use of masks, practicing physical distancing and to refuse all visitors who have COVID-19 symptoms, have a positive viral test or have been in close contact with someone who is infected.
You Might Also Like:
- It’s Flu Season: Waste Management Solutions for Vaccines
- What Happens to Medical Waste When It Leaves Your Facility
- What is Cradle to Grave Processing?