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Signing up and participating in the November 2-3rd Virtual HICPAC Meeting

Thank you for your interest in signing up for the HICPAC meeting. Here is the link to signup:

The meeting is scheduled on November 2 (9am-5pm ET) and 3 (9am-12pm et), teleconference only (Zoom). The agenda may not be available until the day(s) of and will be posted at the signup link above, along with the link to view the meeting.

*Note: If you participated in past HICPAC meetings, you will note they have made a few changes to the process:

1- You DO have to register in advance to make an oral public comment, however you do not have to pre-register just to view the meeting. The link to the meeting webcast will be posted at their website shortly before the meeting. The agenda will follow. 

2- The Oral Public Comment Request Submission Period will open October 2, 2023, and close on October 23, 2023.

  • If there are more speakers than they allow time for, they will decide by lottery in advance of the meeting who will speak, and they indicate they will let you know by email if you will be speaking by email by October 30th. 
  • Each speaker will be allotted 3 minutes to leave a comment during the public comment period (about the time it takes to read one typed page, or 375 words).

3- If you do not get a chance to speak, or prefer to leave written comment: 

  • The Written Public Comment Submission Period will open November 1, 2023, and close on November 6, 2023. **All written public comments received before or after the comment period opens or closes will not be added to the meeting minutes.**
  • Last time the written comments were to be one type-written page (which is about 375 words). See details and talking points below.
  • Submit your written public comment to HICPAC@CDC.GOV. 

Meeting Guide

Below are instructions to help guide you through the signup process and participation:

1. Meeting Purpose:

The primary purpose of this registration drive is to respond to HICPAC’s proposed health- and life-threatening policy with both expert and public commentary. This policy seeks to weaken patient and provider protections in healthcare including by advocating surgical masks for diseases that require N95 respirators and disregarding other science-based precautions. Your participation will help demonstrate support for patient safety and advocate for effective infection control measures.

2. Who should sign up:

  • This meeting is open to everyone concerned about being infected by preventable infectious diseases in healthcare settings, including patients, caregivers, healthcare workers, and visitors.
  • International participation is also valued as HICPAC guidelines affect infection control globally.

3. Required fields when signing up include:

  •    Registration status: Indicate your status (e.g., “member of the public”).
  •    First name and second name: If you do not want to provide your name, use your first name and last initial or a pseudonym.
  •    Degrees: Indicate any degrees you hold or type “N/A” if none.
  •    Title: Provide your position title or choose from options like Prof./Dr./Mr./Ms/Mrs./Mx.
  •    Organization: State your organization if applicable or specify that you represent yourself.
  • City/State: Either enter your city/state or choose another. 
  •    Email: They ask for a business email, but it should be OK to use a personal email address.
  •    Phone: If comfortable, provide your phone number. You can enter “N/A” if not.
  •    Comment: Indicate whether you plan to make a public comment during the meeting.
  •    If so, explain: Briefly describe the topic of your presentation, such as “infection control policies in healthcare”.

 Those with accessibility issues can request others to help them sign up. 

To submit an oral comment during the Zoom meeting of 3 minutes or less, please follow these steps:

  •   Join the Zoom meeting at the designated date and time.
  •   Wait for the organizer to give you permission to speak.
  •   State your name and affiliation (if appropriate) at the beginning of your remarks

For public comments, the last meeting allocated 3 minutes to each person, equivalent to around 375 words. It is best to prepare comments ahead of time and rehearse them a few times so that you do not need to rush and they will fit within the allotted time.

To submit a written comment in addition to or instead of the oral comments, please do so only in the written comment period between November 1, 2023, and November 6, 2023 to Written comments, not to exceed one page, should contain:

  • the submitter’s name 
  • address 
  • organizational affiliation
  • topic being addressed. 

5. Talking points:

  • Guidelines should recognize that adopting effective prevention measures has important implications for the health of patients and healthcare workers. There is no room for compromise on safety, any more than laxity in providing any medical care is tolerated. 
  • Guidelines should be based on the precautionary principle, which emphasizes the need for policy makers to prioritize risk reduction. Unlike individual decision-making, policy decisions have wide-ranging impacts on society, necessitating a greater emphasis on minimizing potential risks for many people. 
  • Development of infection control guidelines should include experts across disciplines studying airborne transmission.
  • Development of infection control guidelines should involve those who are most at risk including patients and healthcare workers and their representative organizations.
  • Guidelines should fully adopt established science of airborne transmission and its prevention. This includes using effective masking including N95 respirators, elastomeric respirators, and PAPRs. There is no justification for adopting non-airborne precautions for airborne pathogens. 
  • Guidelines should include comprehensive measures including ventilation and HEPA air purification, masking, testing, and minimizing unnecessary sharing of air of those who might be infected with those who are susceptible.
  • It is appropriate to communicate personal experiences in engaging with the healthcare system and the risk of infection to point to the need for high levels of safety and that those who are at risk should be participating in the policy making process.

Past meetings

The comments that were made at the past HICPAC meetings also carry some important messages and illustrate the process that is similar to what may occur. Note that the past meetings agendas, videos, and meeting notes are available to view:

August 22 2023 Meeting Information/Videos 

  1. CDC HICPAC Meeting Aug. 22, 2023  Agenda
  2. Meeting Videos:

June 2023 Meeting Information/Videos

  1. CDC HICPAC Meeting June 8-9, 2023  Agenda
  2. Full Meeting Video (Playslist Divided by Sections) 
  3. Full Public Comments to the June meeting
  4. CDC Presentation Slide set: Lin M, Wright S (Co-Chairs). Isolation Precautions Guideline Workgroup. CDC HICPAC. June 8, 2023 CDC Slide Set
    1. Key points: According to HICPAC: Surgical masks are similar to N95 and are all that is needed for infection control; No special precautions are specified for high risk individuals.

November 2022 Meeting Information/Videos

  1. HICPAC November 3rd 2022 Posted Meeting Notes

Prior Listed Meeting Minutes (2022 and before)

Last reviewed on November 1, 2023

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