Coronavirus Response Newsletter

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CDPH to Update Hospital Visitation and Testing Guidance

In the coming weeks, it is expected that the California Department of Public Health (CDPH) will issue both updated hospital visitation and testing guidance.  

Current hospital visitation guidance is contained in All Facilities Letter (AFL) 20-38.6, and updates are expected to address two recent developments. With the retirement of the Blueprint for a Safer Economy on June 15, the AFL must be updated to no longer base its recommendations on the Blueprint’s tiers. Additionally, on April 27, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) updated its visitation guidance for health care facilities. That guidance now states that, while alone in a patient’s room or a designated visitation room, a fully vaccinated patient and a fully vaccinated visitor can choose to have close contact (including touch) and to remove their masks.

CHA is engaged in discussions with CDPH about its revisions to help ensure they are feasible for hospitals to implement, and to include a ramp-up period before the guidance becomes effective.

Similarly, CHA anticipates that CDPH will update AFL 20-88, which contains CDPH’s recommendations for weekly screening testing for COVID-19 for health care personnel and newly admitted patients in light of recent CDC guidance. On April 27, the CDC updated its testing guidance for health care facilities, which now specifies that fully vaccinated health care personnel may be exempt from expanded screening testing when asymptomatic, unless they have a higher-risk exposure or are working in a facility experiencing an outbreak.

Once CDPH releases these updated AFLs, CHA will share the information via Coronavirus Response and CHA News.

Next CDPH Office Hours: May 28

CDPH will hold a COVID-19 Vaccination Office Hours webinar for hospitals on May 28 from 9 to 10 a.m. (PT). To participate, visit this link.

Next CDPH Call for Health Care Facilities: June 1 at 8 a.m. (PT)  

Dial: (844) 721-7239  
Passcode: 7993227 

Summary of May 18 CDPH Call

CDPH has provided a summary of its May 18 call with health care facilities.

Media Coverage

In case you missed them, here are recent stories that might be of interest:

Data Resources

  • 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.