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Covid-19: Monitoring and preventing the spread of new virus variants in health care settings

The HCSP updates its guidelines from the 18th and 20th of January 2021 and recommends that there should be no exception for quarantine of healthcare professionals infected with SARS-CoV-2, no matter if they are symptomatic or not, and if they work in hospitals or not.

In addition, the HCSP mentions that strict compliance with barrier measures and standard precautions remains essential in the care settings, regardless of the status of the persons under care with respect to SARS-CoV-2 (and, in the event of infection whether or not it is a variant of concern) but also during interactions with other health professionals outside the care areas (staff break areas).

The HCSP also recommends:

  • anticipating the organisation of services in order to prevent the risks of disruption of patient care;
  • collecting indicators (number of infected patients, existence of clusters, number of contaminated nurses, hospital tension indicators and their evolution over time) at the level of each establishment, and informing professionals about these indicators;
  • providing support to the staff by operational hygiene teams and occupational health services;
  • that professionals who have been infected by SARS-CoV-2 observe precautionary measures (in particular not sharing unmasked breaks with colleagues, especially during mealtimes) when they return to work, for 7 days;
  • increase vaccination rates of healthcare professionals, residents and carers.

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