With the increased number of COVID-19 cases from the Omicron variant, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) released updated guidance for isolation and quarantine for healthcare workers. The guidance decreases the amount of isolation time after infection with COVID-19. The CDC also released an update to guidance for contingency and crisis management in settings with significant healthcare worker shortages. The updated guidance is important for Tribal healthcare workers as it provides Tribal healthcare facilities with strategies to limit the effects of staff shortages caused by COVID-19 that may effect patient care in Tribal communities. Important updates include:
- Healthcare workers with COVID-19 who are asymptomatic can return to work after seven days with a negative test, and that isolation time can be cut further if there are staffing shortages.
- Healthcare workers who have received all recommended COVID-19 vaccine doses, including a booster, do not need to quarantine at home following high-risk exposures.
The CDC continues to monitor the Omicron variant and the guidance may be revised as new information becomes available. The guidance applies to the healthcare workforce and recommendations are in place to keep Tribal healthcare workers, patients, and Tribal communities safe from the impact of COVID-19.