October 31, 2022

COVID-19 Guideline Revisions & Updates – Important updates to guidelines such as pre-procedure testing and clinical guidelines

Several COVID-19 Guidelines have been updated. Here is a summary of the updates with links to revised guidelines on the COVID-19 website.

  • Pre-Procedure Testing Changes: Effective Nov.14, VUMC guidelines for Pre-Procedure Testing will be updated to stop some requirements for preprocedural testing. Revised Guidelines can be found here.
  • Exposure and Return to Work Updated Guidelines: Based on revised CDC guidelines for healthcare workforce exposure to COVID-19 and return to work Occupational Health has updated VUMC Exposure and Return to work guidelines which can be found here.
  • COVID-19 Clinical Guidelines: Based on the availability of excellent COVID-19 clinical guidance from UpToDate, the Infectious Diseases Society of America (IDSA), and the National Institutes of Health (NIH), VUMC will be adopting these guidelines moving forward and retiring internal COVID-19 clinical guidelines.  eStar links will be updated as well to access these published guidelines.

Here are direct links to the NIH COVID-19 Treatment Guidelines and IDSA Practice Guidelines:

  • Face Masks Optional on VUMC Employee Shuttles

Consistent with Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) guidelines and due to Davidson County’s steadily declining community transmission levels for COVID-19, wearing facemasks on Vanderbilt University Medical Center employee shuttles is now optional.

Masks will continue to be required in patient transport vehicles.

  • Masking is still required in clinical areas and here is why:

VUMC has decided to continue required masking in clinical areas through the winter respiratory season even if the COVID-19 transmission levels drop below high.  Updated CDC guidance does allow healthcare facilities to stop universal masking once the CDC Community Transmission level drops below “HIGH”, but VUMC considered the following factors to keep required masking in clinical areas in place: higher levels of high-risk patients at VUMC facilities (e.g., our severely immunocompromised patient population); concerns over emerging COVID-19 variants in parts of the world; the developing seasonal respiratory viral season; and the dramatic positive impact universal masking has had on reducing healthcare-associated spread of these viruses. This is the approach also being followed by many peer academic institutions.