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January 14, 2022

CDC Issues Guidance Around Staffing Shortages Caused by Rise in Omicron Cases

On December 23, the CDC updated guidance for health care facilities on maintaining appropriate staffing while protecting healthcare personnel (HCP), patients, and visitors.  The new CDC mitigation strategies offer various options for addressing staffing shortages due to the rise in Omicron cases, including a broad overview of options for HCP to return to work more quickly after possible exposure or infection.  The CDC specifically recommends that facilities evaluate the type of staffing shortages to be addressed, where staff members are in the course of their illness, symptoms they are experiencing, the degree of potential patient interaction, and the type of patients the staff members care for.   As a last resort for mitigating shortages, the CDC states that facilities could consider allowing HCP to work even if they have suspected or confirmed infection.