Urge the CDC to Listen to Frontline Health Care Workers and Patients!

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has tasked its advisory committee (HICPAC) to update infection control guidance for health care settings. HICPAC’s draft, which was finalized by a unanimous vote in November 2023, proposes to weaken existing practice and fails to acknowledge the science on aerosol transmission and respiratory protection. After conducting its review, the CDC is sending back HICPAC’s draft for more work!

Take action now to help ensure CDC and HICPAC protect health care workers and patients from infectious diseases. 

Dear Mandy Cohen:

We commend the CDC for rejecting HICPAC’s draft updates to the CDC’s Isolation Precautions guidance. It is essential that HICPAC recognize the science on aerosol transmission of infectious diseases and respiratory protection for health care workers.

We are encouraged by the CDC’s intention to expand the scope of expertise on HICPAC and its Work Group. We urge you to ensure there are representatives from the following fields of expertise:

  1. Frontline health care workers, including labor unions representing health care workers
  2. Patients and community members
  3. Experts in occupational health, industrial hygiene, respiratory protection, and aerosol dynamics in addition to infection prevention.

These groups have essential expertise for developing protective, implementable guidelines, including on the pertinent scientific evidence, effectiveness of prevention measures, and considerations for implementation.