September 26, 2022

CDC eases mask recommendations in nursing homes and hospitals

By: Lauren McCaffrey
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Editor's Note

The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has eased its mask recommendations for nursing homes and hospitals not experiencing high levels of COVID-19 transmission, US News & World Report September 26 reports. The CDC made these changes to the updated guidelines published on Friday, September 23.

Unlike earlier in the pandemic when everyone was required to wear masks or respirators in health care settings, more recently visitors could “choose not to wear source control" if they had updated vaccines and were alone together with those they were visiting.

Since August, the CDC has been revising guidance, as the numbers of people hospitalized and nursing home infections have been declining. The latest guidance states, "updates were made to reflect the high levels of vaccine- and infection-induced immunity and the availability of effective treatments and prevention tools." Masking now “remains recommended” during an outbreak among patients or "when caring for patients who are moderately to severely immunocompromised."

Holly Harmon, a senior vice president for the American Health Care Association and the National Center for Assisted Living, welcomed the masking changes, saying, "While our commitment to infection prevention and control continues, adapting COVID protocols means recognizing the current stage of this pandemic as well as the importance of quality of life for our nation's seniors.”


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