McKnight’s Long-Term Care News author, Alicia Lasek, reports that despite the CDC’s lenient COVID-19 restrictions, approximately four hundred individuals are dying every day from the virus in the United States. Thus, the CDC is now focusing new COVID-19 prevention efforts on the most vulnerable populations such as the elderly.
Greta Massetti Ph.D., MPH, a scientist from the CDC, still believes in the possibility of lowering the number of COVID-19 cases as well as alleviating the burden COVID-19 has posed on the United States’ “healthcare system.” The rules for Covid-19 testing in places such as schools have become laxer. However, Massetti stresses that different entities such as nursing homes and long-term care facilities should contemplate the danger and risk level COVID-19 poses to residents and employees when drafting methods aimed to prevent the spreading virus.
Lasek also writes that Massetti recommends elderly and high-risk individuals receive the COVID-19 vaccines up to and including the most recent vaccine available and that vulnerable populations wear masks when necessary. In addition to these recommendations, Massetti suggests that elderly individuals should be properly treated if they contract the virus. Lastly, Masetti says people who come are exposed to elderly populations should self-test, preferably when the rate of COVID-19 infections in a community is labeled as “medium” or “high”.
The CDC has not updated specific COVID-19 guidelines for federal nursing homes. Nevertheless, as the transmission of the virus is kept at bay in the United States, Lasek reports the American Health Care Association/National Center for Assisted Living has called upon the CDC to revise COVID-19 guidelines as they want to see even more leniency granted to their organizations. These new rules would consist of eradicating day-to-day temperature checks and assessing visitors at the facility for the virus. Additionally, the association would like to see briefer quarantine requirements for employees and a decrease in PPE equipment used at the facilities.
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Lasek, Alicia. “CDC’s refreshed COVID guidance zeros in on the vulnerable.” McKnight’s Long-Term Care News, 15 August 2022, https://www.mcknights.com/news/clinical-news/cdcs-loosened-public-covid-guidance-hones-in-on-the-vulnerable/?utm_source. Accessed 1 September 2022.