Infection Prevention and Control (IPC) Guidance
- On September 23, 2022, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) released updated COVID-19 IPC recommendations for healthcare settings. This update includes source control (masking) recommendations. Healthcare facilities are encouraged to review the recommendations in detail and to update to their policies and procedures as needed.
- Community Transmission (and NOT Community Level) is the metric used to guide IPC measures in healthcare settings. Community Transmission can be found on this page by scrolling down to the map view and selecting the County of interest.
- CDC guidance for managing healthcare personnel (HCP) with SARS-CoV-2 infection or exposure, and strategies for mitigating staff shortages was also updated.
Omicron Containing SARS-CoV-2 Vaccine Boosters
- On September 1, 2022, the CDC’s Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) reviewed information about Pfizer’s and Moderna’s bivalent SARS-CoV-2 vaccines and recommended their use. CDC subsequently endorsed ACIP’s recommendations. Pfizer-BioNTech’s bivalent booster is authorized for people aged 12 years and older and Moderna’s bivalent booster for people aged 18 years and older.
- Per updated Food and Drug Administration (FDA) EUAs, Pfizer’s and Moderna’s monovalent mRNA SARS-CoV-2 vaccines are no longer authorized for use as boosters in people ages 12 years and older. Only individuals aged 5-11 years can receive a monovalent booster dose at this time.
Infection Control Guidance
- Healthcare facilities are encouraged to review the CDC recommendations in detail and update their policies and procedures as needed.
- Healthcare facilities should review the Community Transmission levels weekly to determine if modifications to current IPC measures are needed.
- When SARS-CoV-2 community transmission levels are high, source control (wearing a well-fitting facemask, cloth mask, or respirator) is recommended for everyone in a healthcare setting where patients could be encountered. If community transmission is not high, healthcare facilities may opt not to recommend universal source control.
- Source control is also recommended for people in healthcare settings who have suspected or confirmed SARS-CoV-2 infection or another respiratory infection; who had close contact (patients and visitors) or a higher-risk exposure (HCP) with someone with COVID-19, for 10 days after exposure; or who reside or work in an area of the facility with a COVID-19 outbreak.
Omicron SARS-CoV-2 Vaccine Boosters
- Healthcare providers should recommend all patients stay up to date with COVID-19 vaccination, including all primary series doses and boosters for their age group:
- People ages 6 months through 4 years should get all COVID-19 primary series doses.
- People ages 5 years and older should get all primary series doses, and the booster dose recommended for them by CDC, if eligible.
- People ages 5-11 years are currently recommended to get the original (monovalent) booster.
- People ages 12 years and older are recommended to receive one updated Pfizer or Moderna (bivalent) booster.
- This includes people who have received all primary series doses and who have previously received one or more original (monovalent) boosters.
- At this time, people aged 12-17 years can only receive the updated Pfizer bivalent booster.
- With influenza (flu) season approaching, providers are encouraged to offer flu, COVID-19, and other age-appropriate recommended vaccines during the same visit to people with no known contraindication(s).
- The bivalent vaccines combine the companies’ original SARS-CoV-2 vaccine compositions with mRNA coding for BA.4 and BA.5 spike protein components, providing greater immunogenicity for circulating variants that are more transmissible and immune-evading.
- Only about 68,000 Fairfax Health District residents have received the bivalent booster since it became available on September 7, 2022, representing about 8% of the population eligible for this booster.
- CDC’s COVID-19 Vaccination Schedule and CDC’s Summary document for Interim Clinical Considerations can be found online.