Infection prevention is a full-time job, according to the agency.

Nursing facilities with 100 or more residents should have at least one infection preventionist on-site to manage COVID-19 care, according to new federal recommendations.

Larger facilities and operations that provide on-site ventilator or hemodialysis services should employ a full-time, trained staff member in that position, advised the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in updated guidance.

These dedicated positions are necessary to cover all needed aspects of COVID-19 infection control, the agency stated. This includes developing policies and procedures, providing surveillance, offering competency-based staff training, and auditing protocol adherence, it said. 

An online course to train nursing home workers in this role is available on the agency’s website. Smaller facilities should also consider training dedicated staff in prevention based on resident population and service needs identified in a risk assessment, it added.