The following is an excerpt from the UK’s official release on Gov.UK . Here is the government’s PDF on the subject for our readers’ perusal. – J. Flores
As of 19 March 2020, COVID-19 is no longer considered to be a high consequence infectious diseases
(HCID) in the UK.
The 4 nations public health HCID group made an interim recommendation in January 2020 to classify
COVID-19 as an HCID. This was based on consideration of the UK HCID criteria about the virus and
the disease with information available during the early stages of the outbreak. Now that more is known
about COVID-19, the public health bodies in the UK have reviewed the most up to date information
about COVID-19 against the UK HCID criteria. They have determined that several features have now
changed; in particular, more information is available about mortality rates (low overall), and there is now
greater clinical awareness and a specific and sensitive laboratory test, the availability of which
continues to increase.
The Advisory Committee on Dangerous Pathogens (ACDP) is also of the opinion that COVID-19 should
no longer be classified as an HCID.
The need to have a national, coordinated response remains, but this is being met by the government’s
COVID-19 response (https://www.gov.uk/coronavirus).
Cases of COVID-19 are no longer managed by HCID treatment centres only. All healthcare workers
managing possible and confirmed cases should follow the updated national infection and prevention
(IPC) guidance for COVID-19 (https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/wuhan-novel-coronavirus-infectionprevention-and-control), which supersedes all previous IPC guidance for COVID-19. This guidance
includes instructions about different personal protective equipment (PPE) ensembles that are
appropriate for different clinical scenarios.
Definition of HCID
In the UK, a high consequence infectious disease (HCID) is defined according to the following criteria:
acute infectious disease typically has a high case-fatality rate may not have effective prophylaxis or treatment
often difficult to recognise and detect rapidly ability to spread in the community and within healthcare settings
requires an enhanced individual, population and system response to ensure it is managed effectively,
efficiently and safely.