CDC Updates Respiratory Virus Guidance - National Commission on Correctional Health Care
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CDC logo sized pngMar 1, 2024

CDC Updates Respiratory Virus Guidance

The new guidance Respiratory Virus Guidance ( is written from a broad perspective and focuses primarily on ways that individuals in the general public can protect themselves and others from a variety of respiratory viruses – including but not limited to COVID-19.

The reasons that this guidance has been issued are summarized in this background document and include the highlights below.
Background for CDC’s Updated Respiratory Virus Guidance | Respiratory Illnesses | CDC

  • There is a need to ensure that guidance protects health while not placing an undue burden on the population in the post-emergency context.
  • This guidance provides a unified approach to respiratory viruses, rather than having separate guidance for each specific virus.
  • We now have tools to fight serious respiratory illness, including effective vaccines and treatments.
  • Far fewer people are getting seriously ill from COVID-19. More people have immunity from vaccines and previous infection, and there are fewer hospitalizations and deaths.
  • COVID-19 remains a public health threat, but it now looks similar to other respiratory viruses.

The CDC Respiratory Virus Guidance replaces previous COVID-19 guidance for correctional and detention facilities and for other non-health care settings. Previous corrections-specific COVID-19 pages will be archived.

  • CDC has posted a Q&A document that includes high level information on how this guidance applies specifically to correctional and detention facilities: Respiratory Virus Guidance Update FAQs | CDC
  • Note that this guidance does NOT apply to portions of facilities where health care is provided. Health care workers providing care in correctional and detention facilities should continue to follow CDC’s healthcare-specific infection prevention and control guidance: Infection Control | CDC

CDC plans to hold a webinar jointly with the DOJ Bureau of Justice Assistance as soon as possible to walk through the guidance (including differences from previous COVID-19 guidance for the public and for corrections), elaborate on how it applies to correctional and detention facilities, and answer questions. Please stay tuned for an email invitation once the date and time for the webinar have been finalized.

Questions can be addressed to: [email protected].

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