What to do about COVID-19 continues to be an area of discussions among providers. The most recent is about whether to follow the new CDC guidance on COVID-19 or continue with the current practices. First, a reminder that CDC recommendations do not supersede state, local, tribal, or territorial laws, rules, and regulations. As long as providers comply with state and local regulations, as small business owners, we are able to make the decision that works for our individual situation/program.
Whatever you decide works for you, please remember to have it as part of your written policies. With any change to policy, it is best practice to have parents sign off on being informed of the change. This is easy to do with a simple 1 page signature sheet you keep with your records.
Both the past guidance and new recommendations will continue to be available on the website. You can find them in the Menu under “Current Covid Info”.
Here’s what we’ve pulled from the CDC site as of 12/27/21:
CDC is shortening the recommended time for isolation, if asymptomatic, from 10 days for people with COVID-19 to 5 days. Isolation is to be followed by 5 days of wearing a mask when around others, to minimize the risk of infecting others.
The ongoing scientific studying of COVID-19 and the current Omicron variant, is demonstrating that the majority of SARS-CoV-2 transmission occurs early in the course of illness. This is generally in the 1-2 days prior to onset of symptoms and the 2-3 days after. The change in isolation recommendation reflects this.
The CDC also updated the recommended quarantine period for those exposed to COVID-19.
- For people who are unvaccinated or are more than six months out from their second mRNA dose (or more than 2 months after the J&J vaccine) and not yet boosted, CDC now recommends quarantine for 5 days followed by strict mask use for an additional 5 days.
- If a 5-day quarantine is not feasible, it is imperative that an exposed person wear a well-fitting mask at all times when around others for 10 days after exposure.
- Individuals who have received their booster shot do not need to quarantine following an exposure, but should wear a mask for 10 days after the exposure.
- For all those exposed, best practice would also include a test for SARS-CoV-2 at day 5 after exposure.
- If symptoms occur, individuals should immediately quarantine until a negative test confirms symptoms are not attributable to COVID-19.
CDC Director, Dr. Rochelle Walensky: “The Omicron variant is spreading quickly and has the potential to impact all facets of our society. CDC’s updated recommendations for isolation and quarantine balance what we know about the spread of the virus and the protection provided by vaccination and booster doses. These updates ensure people can safely continue their daily lives. Prevention is our best option: get vaccinated, get boosted, wear a mask in public indoor settings in areas of substantial and high community transmission, and take a test before you gather.”
Data from South Africa and the United Kingdom demonstrate that vaccine effectiveness against infection for two doses of an mRNA vaccine is approximately 35%. A COVID-19 vaccine booster dose restores vaccine effectiveness against infection to 75%.
COVID-19 vaccination decreases the risk of severe disease, hospitalization, and death from COVID-19.
CDC strongly encourages COVID-19 vaccination for everyone 5 and older and boosters for everyone 16 and older.