New guidelines released by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) for nursing home visitation and community activities and testing seek to focus on the residents and the community staff.

Memorandum 38 (also technically referred to as QSO-20-38-NH) addresses the effects of vaccinations and testing for COVID-19 in nursing home staff, along with the CDC’s updated Healthcare Infection Prevention and Control Recommendations in Response to COVID-19 Vaccination to cover the working matters of nursing home employees.

For testing staff with symptoms, they must be tested immediately, regardless of vaccination status. They must be restricted from the facility pending test results. For testing staff with exposure to COVID-19, Memorandum 38 defers the CDC guidelines. Asymptomatic staff with exposure to an individual confirmed to have a positive case of COVID-19 should be tested twice, regardless of vaccination status. The first test needs to happen directly after exposure. The second will need to happen five days following exposure. Asymptomatic staff with a previous case of COVID-19 infection need not be tested if it occurred within the last nine days.

Fully vaccinated asymptomatic staff with a higher risk of exposure can work for 14 days after exposure. Staff members do not need to quarantine after domestic or international travel per CDC travel guidelines.

Any questions about new COVID-19 regulations and how they may impact you should go through your primary care services providers at NeighborMD.

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