COVID-19 Healthcare Quality and Worker Safety Information

Please find this week’s review of CDC’s COVID-19 resources and information. We continue to highlight COVID-19 vaccine information in addition to resources specific to healthcare quality and worker safety and health.

CDC COVID Data Tracker — Vaccinations are now being tracked on CDC’s COVID Data Tracker. Numbers reported on CDC’s website are validated through a submission process with each jurisdiction and may differ from numbers posted on other websites. Differences between reporting jurisdictions and CDC’s website may occur due to the timing of reporting and website updates.

How to Report COVID Vaccine-Related Adverse Events — As Americans start receiving their first COVID-19 vaccines, additional data on potential adverse events are needed in real time. Healthcare providers will play a critical role in reporting vaccine-related adverse events through the Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System (VAERS). Providers can also encourage individual patients to self-report potential adverse events as they occur through v-safe, CDC’s new patient reporting platform. Read more in this new CDC Medscape Expert Commentary by Dr. Tom Shimabukuro, CDC’s COVID-19 Vaccine Safety Team Lead.

Updated Interim Clinical Considerations for Use of mRNA COVID-19 Vaccines Currently Authorized in the United States — This guidance has been updated to include the following:

  • Additional information on antibody therapies and COVID-19 vaccination
  • Information on COVID-19 vaccination and outbreak management
  • Additional information on vaccination of immunocompromised persons
  • Updates to contraindications and precautions to vaccination
  • Information on COVID-19 vaccination and tuberculin skin testing

To learn more, please visit: mRNA COVID-19 Vaccines.

Frequently Asked Questions about COVID-19 Vaccination in Long-Term Care Facilities (LTCF) — Making sure LTCF residents can receive COVID-19 vaccination as soon as vaccine is available will help save the lives of those who are most at risk of dying from COVID-19. CDC updates frequently asked questions for Healthcare Infection Prevention and Control and Healthcare Professionals regularly based on feedback from professionals on the ground.

US COVID-19 Cases Caused by Variants The cases identified are based on a sampling of SARS-CoV-2-positive specimens and do not represent the total number of B.1.1.7 lineage cases that may be circulating in the United States and may not match numbers reported by states, territories, tribes, and local officials.

SARS-CoV-2 Transmission from People Without COVID-19 Symptoms — Researchers used a model to assess the proportion of COVID-19 spread that likely occurs from infected people who do not have symptoms. They found that more than 50% of new COVID-19 infections were estimated to have come from people without symptoms. These findings underscore the importance of measures such as wearing masks, social distancing, and washing hands to slow the spread of COVID-19. Strategic testing of people who are not ill, such as those who have been exposed to COVID-19 or those with frequent contact with the public, can also reduce the spread of COVID-19 until safe and effective vaccines are widely available.

Summary for Healthcare Facilities: Strategies for Optimizing the Supply of PPE during Shortages This quick reference summarizes CDC’s strategies to optimize personal protective equipment (PPE) supplies in healthcare settings and provides links to CDC’s full guidance documents on optimizing supplies which provide additional strategies and details.

Summary for Healthcare Facilities: Strategies for Optimizing the Supply of N95 Respirators during Shortages This summary is intended to help healthcare facilities optimize supplies of disposable N95 filtering facepiece respirators when there is limited supply during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Updated People with Certain Medical Conditions — Revisions were made on December 23, 2020 to reflect recent data supporting increased risk of severe illness among persons with Down Syndrome from the virus that causes COVID-19. Revisions also include addition of sickle cell disease and chronic kidney disease to the conditions that might increase the risk of severe illness among children.

Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report (MMWR) Allergic Reactions Including Anaphylaxis After Receipt of the First Dose of Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 Vaccine — United States, December 14–23, 2020 — This report summarizes the clinical and epidemiologic characteristics of people in the U.S. with anaphylaxis and non-anaphylaxis allergic reactions following administration of a first dose of Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine during December 14-23, 2020. Monitoring by the Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System detected 21 cases of anaphylaxis after administration of a reported 1,893,360 first doses of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine (11.1 cases per million doses); 71% of these occurred within 15 minutes of vaccination. Post-event follow-up indicates that the patients experiencing anaphylaxis fully recovered following treatment. You can learn more here: Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report

Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report (MMWR)Rates of COVID-19 Among Residents and Staff Members in Nursing Homes — United States, May 25–November 22, 2020 — A federal mandate issued by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS), required nursing homes to commence enrollment and routine reporting of COVID-19 cases among residents and staff members by May 25, 2020. This report uses the NHSN nursing home COVID-19 data reported during May 25–November 22, 2020, to describe COVID-19 rates among nursing home residents and staff members and compares these with rates in surrounding communities by corresponding U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) region. You can learn more here: Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report

Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report (MMWR) — Assessment of Day-7 Postexposure Testing of Asymptomatic Contacts of COVID-19 Patients to Evaluate Early Release from Quarantine — Vermont, May–November 2020 — On May 8, 2020, the Vermont Department of Health (VDH) issued a Health Update recommending shortening the duration of quarantine for persons exposed to SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19. Exposed persons who were in quarantine could be tested by polymerase chain reaction (PCR) on or after quarantine day 7. Those who had remained asymptomatic throughout quarantine and who received a negative SARS-CoV-2 PCR test result on or after day 7 could end quarantine. You can learn more here: Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report

COVID-19 Partner Update Call: CDC COVID-19 Case Investigation and Contact Tracing Guidance and Tools – Thursday, January 21, 2021, 2:00 p.m. – 3:00 p.m. (Eastern Time) — Dr. Cliff McDonald, Acting Chief Medical Officer, and Dr. Melanie Taylor, Deputy, COVID-19 Contact Tracing Innovations Support will present. Ms. Michelle Putnam, Deputy, Policy Unit Partnerships & Risk Management Team will moderate. Dr. McDonald will share updates on CDC’s COVID-19 response, including the latest scientific information and what everyone should know about protecting themselves and others. In addition, Dr. Taylor will provide an overview on contact tracing guidance and tools. All questions will be collected in advance of the webinar. Click here to register

The call will be recorded and posted with previous Partner Update webinars here.

Clinician Outreach and Communication Activity (COCA) – Treating Long-COVID: Clinician Experience with Post-Acute COVID-19 Care — The Clinician Outreach and Communication Activity (COCA) will hold a call Thursday, January 28, 2021, from 2:00–3:00 p.m. (Eastern Time). During this COCA Call, presenters will share their firsthand experiences with treating long COVID, focusing on the pulmonary, neurologic, and psychological aspects. They will also describe their experiences with establishing clinics that provide care for patients with these long-term effects. For more information, please visit: COCA Calls/Webinars

IN CASE YOU MISSED ITClinician Outreach and Communication Activity (COCA) – COVID-19 Vaccines: Update on Allergic Reactions, Contraindications, and Precautions — The Clinician Outreach and Communication Activity (COCA) hosted a call Wednesday, December 30, 2020. During this COCA Call, presenters gave an overview of recommendations for use of COVID-19 vaccines in certain populations. Clinicians learned more about the recent reports of anaphylaxis following vaccination, as well as CDC’s updated clinical considerations around contraindications and precautions to vaccination. For the recording of this call, please visit: COCA Calls/Webinars