CDC Mitigation Strategies for Communities with Local COVID-19 Transmission
Yesterday the CDC published a framework for actions which local and state health departments can recommend in their community to both prepare for and mitigate community transmission of COVID-19 in the United States. Per the CDC, selection and implementation of these actions should be guided by the local characteristics of disease transmission, demographics, and public health and healthcare system capacity. Please continue to check with local public health departments for local recommendations. However, we do want to highlight recommended mitigation actions for healthcare settings and healthcare providers (includes outpatient, nursing homes/long-term, care facilities, inpatient, telehealth):
Minimum to moderate community transmission:
- Implement changes to visitor policies to further limit exposures to HCP, residents, and patients. Changes could include temperature/ symptom checks for visitors, limiting visitor movement in the facility, etc.
- Implement triage before entering facilities (e.g., parking lot triage, front door), phone triage, and telemedicine to limit unnecessary healthcare visits.
- Actively monitor absenteeism and respiratory illness among HCP and patients.
- Actively monitor PPE supplies.
- Establish processes to evaluate and test large numbers of patients and HCP with respiratory symptoms (e.g., designated clinic, surge tent).
- Consider allowing asymptomatic exposed HCP to work while wearing a facemask.
- Begin to cross-train HCP for working in other units in anticipation of staffing shortages.
Substantial community transmission:
- Restrict or limit visitors (e.g., maximum of 1 per day) to reduce facility-based transmission.
- Identify areas of operations that may be subject to alternative standards of care and implement necessary changes (e.g., allowing mildly symptomatic HCP to work while wearing a facemask).
- Cancel elective and non-urgent procedures.
- Establish cohort units or facilities for large numbers of patients.
- Consider requiring all HCP to wear a facemask when in the facility depending on supply.