Take action

Please take action to urge the CDC/HICPAC to fully recognize the science on aerosol transmission and to protect nurses, other health care workers, and patients.

Add your name to the following sign-on letter:

Individual sign-on: https://act.nnu.org/letter/Urge-the-CDC-and-HICPAC-recognize-aerosol-transmission/ 

Organizational sign-on: https://act.nnu.org/letter/Urge-the-CDC-and-HICPAC-recognize-aerosol-transmission-orgs/

Background information

What is happening at the CDC?

The CDC has an advisory committee called HICPAC, which stands for Healthcare Infection Control Practices Advisory Committee. This committee recently initiated work to update the CDC’s guidance, Isolation Precautions: Preventing Transmission of Infectious Agents in Healthcare Settings, last updated in 2007.

How does this impact nurses and our patients?

If the CDC/HICPAC weakens guidance in these updates, it will mean more exposures and infections among nurses, other health care workers, and their patients. Weakening this guidance will exacerbate the current staffing crisis in health care, as more nurses and other health care workers will leave the bedside due to unsafe conditions and health effects from infections. The CDC’s Isolation Precautions guidance is THE guidance that directs infection control practices in health care settings in the United States. Employers and other government agencies in the United States and around the world frequently reference this guidance document.

Who is on HICPAC?

HICPAC members are almost exclusively infection control clinicians and representatives of health care associations and employers. You can see the full list here.

What is CDC/HICPAC’s process to update the infection control guidance

Problematically, HICPAC’s process to make updates is obscured. Working group meetings regarding the guidance updates are closed, not open to the public. Updates from the working group to HICPAC are not publicly posted. Meeting summaries are posted months after the fact. Liaisons to CDC/HICPAC represent health care employers and executives. The public may make short comment during each HICPAC meeting, but there is no other mechanism for HICPAC or its working groups to garner input from the frontline health care workers, unions who represent them, experts who should be consulted, and patients who will be impacted by the updated guidance.

What is CDC/HICPAC planning to update?

Based on presentations during HICPAC meetings, it is clear that CDC/HICPAC is headed in a problematic direction with these guidance updates. Essentially, CDC/HICPAC is planning to weaken existing infection control guidance for health care workers and patients.

Problems include:


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