Two new standard practices have been added to the foundational infection prevention and control guidance document, formerly of the the CDC HICPAC website. The additional standards are expected to translate to all settings. They include:
5c. Injection and Medication Safety: Prepare medications in a designated clean medication preparation area that is separated from potential sources of contamination, including sinks or other water sources.
5e. Minimizing Potential Exposure: Develop and implement systems for early detection and management of potentially infectious persons at initial points of patient encounter in outpatient settings and at the time of admission to hospitals and long-term care facilities.
Also added were:
1. The consideration for broader use of source control during periods of higher levels of community respiratory virus transmission to the section, Minimizing Potential Exposures, and
2. During periods of higher levels of community respiratory virus transmission, facilities should consider having everyone mask upon entry to the facility to ensure better adherence to respiratory hygiene and cough etiquette for those who might be infectious. Such an approach could be implemented facility-wide or targeted toward higher risk areas (e.g., emergency departments, urgent care, units experiencing an outbreak) based on a facility risk assessment.
The CDC notes that examples of potential [risk] metrics include, but are not limited to, increase in outbreaks of healthcare-onset respiratory infections, increase in emergency department or outpatient visits related to respiratory infections.
For further reading, visit Infection Control.
The newest version of HRSA's Provider Relief Fund (PRF) reporting guide was recently published with everything you need to know on how to use your funds and the reporting process including important reporting dates for periods 5, 6 and 7.
The 2022 reporting requirements highlighted in the updated guidance supercede last year's requirements, so be sure to check out "Provider Relief Fund Distributions and American Rescue Plan Rural Distribution Post-Payment Notice of Reporting Requirements" and stay current on what you need to be tracking for reporting of your PRF and American Rescue Plan, Rural payments.
Key upcoming PRF reporting dates:
- 12/2/22: Deadline to Submit Late Report, Reporting Period 3
- 1/1/23: Reporting Period 4 Opens
- 3/31/23: Reporting Period 4 Closes
Over the last couple of months, many states have seen a surge in children and infants becoming ill and/or hospitalized due respiratory syncytial virus (RSV). These outbreaks are reportedly greater in number than previous years and have coincided with higher than typical influenza rates and SARS-CoV-2 - placing added strain on the nation's pediatric health systems.
So, why is this happening and how might it impact your practice? Read “This Is Our COVID”—What Physicians Need to Know About the Pediatric RSV Surge" to find out. For further reading on RSV, visit the CDC's webpage, "Respiratory Syncytial Virus (RSV)".
On October 12th, the FDA authorized Moderna's bivalent vaccine booster for 6-17 year olds and Pfizer-BioNTech's bivalent vaccine booster for 5-11 year olds. Following the authorization, the CDC announced their recommendation of the bivalent shot for children and teens.
The bivalent vaccine booster information for Moderna and Pfizer-BioNtech, including the schedule for 6-17 year olds and 5-11 year olds can be found here and here. Visit Frequently Asked Questions" for a readily navigable info page designed to help answer the questions at the top of your mind about the current recommendations.
There are currently several options for vaccination. To keep up on the evolving vaccine types, visit "Overview of COVID-19 Vaccines". Visit Beyond Re-emergence: Pediatric Dentistry Practice Checklist for more on what's new related to practicing pediatric dentistry during the COVID-19 pandemic.
AAPD COVID-19 Resources
AAPD has provided additional resources regarding infection control, practice and staff management, emergency care, office closures/limited services and COVID-19 status.