CDPH Adopts CDC Guidance on Quarantine of Vaccinated Persons; CDC Releases New Recommendations on Vaccinated Persons in Non-Health Care Settings
On March 5, at CHA’s request, the California Department of Public Health (CDPH) revised All Facilities Letter (AFL) 21-08 to adopt the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC’s) guidance that — as a strategy to alleviate staffing shortages — hospitals can forgo quarantining vaccinated health care personnel following a high-risk exposure if they are fully vaccinated, were vaccinated in the last three months, and are asymptomatic.
CDPH also notes that the CDC will update its quarantine recommendations for vaccinated persons — including the criteria for timing since receipt of the last dose in the vaccination series — when more data become available and additional COVID-19 vaccines are authorized.
Specifically, the CDC and CDPH recommend that, as an additional strategy for alleviating staffing shortages, hospitals may consider allowing vaccinated health care personnel with a higher risk exposure to someone with suspected or confirmed COVID-19 to continue to work onsite during their post-exposure period if they meet all the following criteria:
- The staff are fully vaccinated (i.e., ≥two weeks following receipt of the second dose in a two-dose series, or ≥two weeks following receipt of one dose of a single-dose vaccine).
- The staff are within three months following receipt of the last dose in the series.
- They have remained asymptomatic since the current COVID-19 exposure.
Health care personnel meeting the three criteria above would not be required to quarantine outside of work. Health care personnel who do not meet all three of the above criteria should continue to follow current quarantine guidance after a higher risk exposure to someone with suspected or confirmed COVID-19.
For background, on Feb. 10, the CDC updated its COVID-19 vaccination guidance to address quarantine of vaccinated persons. On Feb. 16, it revised its guidance on health care personnel with potential exposure to SARS-CoV-2 to incorporate these changes.
On March 8, the CDC also released Interim Public Health Recommendations for Fully Vaccinated People. They provide recommendations for visiting with others in private settings, isolation, quarantine, and testing. These recommendations explicitly do not apply to health care settings.
CDPH Updates Guidance on Limiting Transmission in Long-Term Care Facilities
CDPH has issued AFL 20-22.6, which updates previous guidance for limiting COVID-19 transmission in long-term care facilities, including skilled-nursing facilities. Specifically, CDPH updates its visitation guidance to expand opportunities for indoor, in-room visitation and physical touch, as well as infection control measures for fully vaccinated residents and visitors.
Next CDPH Office Hours: March 12
CDPH will hold a COVID-19 Vaccination Office Hours call for hospitals on March 12 from 9 to 10 a.m. (PT). Paul Markovich, President & CEO of Blue Shield of California, the third-party administrator for the new statewide vaccination network, is scheduled to speak. To participate, visit this link.
Next CDPH Call for Health Care Facilities: March 16, 8-9 a.m. (PT)
Dial: (844) 721-7239
Summary of March 2 CDPH Call
CDPH has provided a summary of its recent weekly call with health care facilities.
Recent Media Coverage
Vaccines and staffing remain top of mind in the news cycle. Here are few stories of interest from the past week:
- San Francisco Chronicle: Santa Clara County refuses to participate in California’s Blue Shield-managed vaccine distribution
- East Bay Times: COVID: Bay Area officials pushing state to change vaccine distribution plan
- FOX40: ‘Listen to us’: San Joaquin County pushes back on Blue Shield vaccination takeover
- New York Times: Opinion: Covid-19 Is ‘Probably Going to End My Career’
- Inewsource: California let over 200 hospitals sidestep workload rules because of COVID-19. Was that the only option?
- State Resources: Monitor ICU capacity by region or by county.
- CHA Resources: Hospitals can access county dashboards through the CHA COVID-19 Tracking Tool, which includes hospital-specific data on ICU capacity