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Now that the CDC has lifted mask requirements for fully vaccinated individuals, how will this affect healthcare settings?

Currently, per CDC guidelines, the use of personal protective equipment remains unchanged in healthcare settings, which includes physician offices. Detailed information can be found in the link below alongside key takeaways and excerpts from the published guidelines:

Updated Healthcare Infection Prevention and Control Recommendations in Response to COVID-19 vaccination


**Recommendations for use of personal protective equipment by HCP remain unchanged per CDC guidelines.**

Here are some changes for fully vaccinated Healthcare Personnel (HCP) in healthcare settings:

  • In general, fully vaccinated HCPs should continue to wear source control while at work. However, fully vaccinated HCPs may dine and socialize together in break rooms and conduct in-person meetings without source control or physical distancing. If unvaccinated HCPs are present, everyone should wear source control and unvaccinated HCPs should physically distance themselves from others.
  • Fully vaccinated HCPs with higher-risk exposure who are asymptomatic do not need to be restricted from work for 14 days following their exposure.
  • Asymptomatic HCPs with a higher-risk exposure and patients or residents with prolonged close contact with someone with SARS-CoV-2 infection, regardless of vaccination status, should have a series of two viral tests for SARS-CoV-2 infection. In these situations, testing is recommended immediately and 5–7 days after exposure.
  • Fully vaccinated HCPs may be exempt from expanded screening testing. However, per the recommendations above, vaccinated HCPs should have a viral test if the HCP is symptomatic, has a higher-risk exposure, or is working in a facility experiencing an outbreak.

Screening is still recommended. The CDC has provided additional options on how to do this, outlined in the link below:

Interim Infection Prevention and Control Recommendations for Healthcare Personnel During the COVID-19 Pandemic

Options could include (but are not limited to): individual screening on arrival at the facility; or implementation of an electronic monitoring system in which, prior to arrival at the facility, people report the absence of fever and symptoms of COVID-19, absence of a diagnosis of SARS-CoV-2 infection in the prior 10 days and confirm they have not been exposed to others with SARS-CoV-2 infection during the prior 14 days.

Some states may choose to continue with stricter guidelines than CDC recommendations. Please check with your state on how they are responding to the CDC recommendations and follow accordingly.

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All Curi recommendations are based on current CDC criteria at the time of publication. CDC guidance for SARS-CoV-2 infection may, or may not, be adopted by state and local health departments to respond to rapidly changing local circumstances. Providers should always check with their local health department to see if the CDC’s guidance on any given topic has been modified (particularly if more restrictive) from the CDC’s recommended guidelines. Follow this link https://www.cdc.gov/publichealthgateway/healthdirectories/index.html for contact information to your state/local health department. If local recommendations vary from those of the CDC, and you are unsure what recommendations to follow, then it is safer to follow the more restrictive guidelines/recommendations.