Updated COVID-19 Infection Control Guidance

CDC just updated the current national COVID-19 infection control guidance for healthcare. SHEA members should note the following key points in the updated guidance:

  • Cloth face coverings should not be considered PPE and should NOT be worn instead of a respirator or facemask if more than source control is required.
  • Healthcare personnel should consider continuing to wear their respirator or facemask (extended use) while in the healthcare facility instead of intermittently switching back to their cloth face covering, which could cause self-contamination. Healthcare personnel should remove their respirator or facemask and put on their cloth face covering when leaving the facility at the end of their shift.
  • Visitors and patients should be wearing their own cloth face covering upon arrival to the facility per CDC recommendations to the general public. If they are not, they should be offered a facemask or cloth face covering, as supplies allow, and instructed to wear it while in the facility.
  • This recommendation does not change CDC's guidance for healthcare personnel to use N-95 or equivalent respirators when providing care for patients with suspected or known COVID-19.
    • Facilities that do not have sufficient supplies of N-95s and equivalent respirators for all patient care should prioritize their use for activities and procedures that pose high risks of generating infectious aerosols, using facemasks for care that does not involve those activities or procedures. Once availability of supplies is reestablished, N-95s and equivalent respirators use should resume for all workers caring for these patients.
    • Facilities should consider utilizing CDC's PPE optimization guidance and PPE Burn Rate Calculator in order to preserve PPE supplies and keep workers safe. 

SHEA continues to connect with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the World Health Organization (WHO) to inform our members about what is happening on the ground in our healthcare facilities.  If you have comments to share, please email Kristy Weinshel.

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