CDC Issues Updated COVID-19 Isolation and Quarantine Guidance for Health Care Workers
New guidance says health care workers with COVID-19 who are asymptomatic can return to work after 7 days with a negative test
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is releasing updated guidance for isolation and quarantine for health care workers, decreasing their isolation time after infection with COVID-19. Additionally, CDC is releasing an update to guidance for contingency and crisis management in the setting of significant health care worker shortages.
“As the health care 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,” CDC Director Rochelle Walensky, MD, said in a statement. “Our goal is to keep health care personnel and patients safe, and to address and prevent undue burden on our health care facilities. Our priority, remains prevention—and I strongly encourage all health care personnel to get vaccinated and boosted.”
Specifically, CDC’s updated guidance says that:
- Health care workers with COVID-19 who are asymptomatic can return to work after seven days with a negative test, and that isolation time can be cut further if there are staffing shortages.
- Health care workers who have received all recommended COVID-19 vaccine doses, including a booster, do not need to quarantine at home following high-risk exposures.
These guidelines apply only to the health care workforce and may be revised to continue to protect both health care workers and patients as additional information on the omicron variant becomes available to inform recommended actions, CDC says. Additional information will be published as guidance on CDC’s website soon and shared with health care organizations and provider groups.
CDC says it continues to evaluate isolation and quarantine recommendations for the broader population as it learns about the omicron variant and will update the public as appropriate.
This story originally appeared in the December 30, 2021 edition of WHA Newsletter