This alert is being reissued to correct formatting and terms that were omitted.
The Delta variant is the most common variant of SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19, spreading in the United States. The Delta variant spreads more easily than prior variants. The COVID-19 vaccination is the most effective way to prevent infection and severe disease among long-term care residents and staff.
The CDC recommends urgent action:
- Get vaccinated as soon as possible. Residents, LTC facility staff, and visitors should be fully vaccinated to prevent the spread of COVID-19.
- Wear a mask regardless of vaccination status:
- LTC facility staff should continue to wear a facemask or personal protective equipment when around residents or in the facility.
- LTC facility staff should wear full PPE such as gloves, gown, N95 respirator, and eye protection when working with residents who are COVID-19 positive or of unknown COVID-19 status.
- Fully vaccinated visitors should use a mask when in the public areas of the facility, such as hallways and common areas, for source control. It is also safest to use a mask when visiting privately with residents. Visitors who are not fully vaccinated should always use a mask.
- Encourage residents to wear a mask when outside their room, especially when unvaccinated or in counties with high rates of COVID-19.
- Stay home if you feel ill. Do not go to work or visit an LTC facility if you have symptoms of COVID-19.
- Get tested. Anyone with symptoms of COVID-19 or known exposure, regardless of vaccination status, should receive a viral test immediately.
Get answers to your vaccine questions at the CDC’s Vaccinate with Confidence webpage.