October 12, 2023

Tomorrow: Webinar Addresses CDC Guidelines for Transmission of Infectious Agents in Healthcare Settings

A webinar scheduled for tomorrow will address proposed revisions to CDC’s guidelines for preventing transmission of infectious agents in healthcare settings. The proposed revisions, which were drafted by CDC’s Healthcare Infection Control and Prevention Advisory Committee (HICPAC), state that healthcare personnel may wear surgical masks instead of OSHA-compliant respiratory protection to prevent transmission of viruses such as seasonal influenza and SARS-CoV-2. The existing guidelines have been in place since 2007.

In a letter (PDF) submitted to CDC in July, AIHA described HICPAC’s proposed revisions as “grossly deficient” and argued that “[t]hey will put healthcare workers and patients at risk of contracting COVID-19 and other more serious respiratory diseases, particularly those individuals at high risk of developing serious illness due to age and comorbidities.”

AIHA’s letter also contends that HICPAC’s review and drafting was flawed, lacked transparency, and did not include relevant experts and stakeholders.

The webinar will be held from noon to 3 p.m. ET on Friday, Oct. 13. Presenters will provide a scientific review of the proposed revisions and discuss recommended changes. AIHA is one of several cosponsors of the webinar, which will be conducted jointly by the Rutgers School of Public Health and the New York and New Jersey Occupational Safety and Health Center. For more information or to register, visit the Rutgers website.