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On December 11, 2020, the Indiana Department of Health (IDH) issued updated quarantine guidance for long-term care staff in light of the CCDC’s updated guidance that quarantine for exposure to COVID-19 can be reduced to 10 or 7 days for the general population, rather than 14 days.
Under IDH’s new quarantine guidance, long-term care facilities operating in a contingency or crisis staffing status can allow staff to use the 10 or 7 day quarantine timelines for exposure, as outlined further below. Facilities not operating in a contingency or crisis staffing status should continue to utilize the 14 day quarantine timeline for long-term care staff who have been exposed the COVID-19. The CDC’s Contingency Staffing Strategies to Mitigate Staffing Shortages can be found here, and the CDC defines close contact as someone who was within 6 feet of an infected person for a cumulative total of 15 minutes or more over a 24-hour period starting from 2 days prior to symptom onset (or, for asymptomatic persons 2 days prior to positive specimen collection). IDH’s FAQ document on close contacts / exposure can be found here.
IDH’s new quarantine guidance applies to comprehensive care facilities (nursing facilities), residential care facilities (licensed assisted living), and unlicensed assisted living communities.
IDH’s new quarantine guidance does not apply to long-term care residents or visitors, who should continue to quarantine for 14 days when exposed to COVID-19, even if the facility is operating in a contingency or crisis staffing status. This guidance also does not apply to long-term care staff who are symptomatic or test positive for COVID-19; those staff members should continue to adhere to the CDC’s Return to Work Criteria.
Highlights for long-term care staff working in a facility operating in a contingency or crisis staffing status under the updated quarantine guidance are follows:
As stated above, long-term care residents should continue to quarantine for 14 days when exposed to COVID-19. Family members and other visitors of long-term care facilities should also adhere to the 14 day timeline before visiting residents in long-term care facilities once again.