Interim Guidance for Managing Healthcare Personnel with SARS-CoV-2 Infection or Exposure to SARS-CoV-2

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 detectingexternal icon SARS-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.

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