Recently we have received inquiries about what the current recommendations are regarding mask use in residential treatment programs. National Council Medical Director Dr Parks conferred with the infection control experts of our partner, The Joint Commission. Since there is not current CDC guidance specific to either substance use disorder or mental illness treatment residential centers they advised following the CDC guidance for Nursing Homes
The CDC NH guidance is part of CDC current guidance for healthcare facilities found at (https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/hcp/infection-control-recommendations.html). It states:
CDC guidance for healthcare facilities varies by the rate of COVID transmission in the county where the facility is located. Most counties are currently at low or moderate COVID-19 transmission rates. To determine if your organization is within an area of low to moderate transmission, the following link should be accessed: https://covid.cdc.gov/covid-data-tracker/#county-view?list_select_state=all_states&list_select_county=all_counties&data-type=Risk
The CDC is still recommending that staff wear masks even in low/moderate transmission areas.
Additional resources provided by the CDC (although do not address the issue of residents masking) include: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/hcp/long-term-care.htmlPlease feel free to share this information with your members. Please also do not hesitate to let us know if you have questions or if additional information would be helpful.