Briefing with Senior Officials on OWS and COVID-19 Vaccines (HERE)
· The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) and the Department of Defense (DoD) held a briefing with senior officials on Operation Warp Speed and COVID-19 vaccines.
Tribal Health Programs and Urban Indian Organizations Choose How They Will Access the COVID-19 Vaccine (HERE)
· The Department of Health and Human Services is laying the necessary groundwork for the distribution of a safe and effective COVID-19 vaccine by ensuring that all tribal health programs and urban Indian organizations have the choice on how they receive the COVID-19 vaccine.
Secretary Azar Statement on World AIDS Day (HERE)
· Even as COVID-19 has exacerbated so many health challenges, the Trump Administration remains deeply committed to the global fight against HIV/AIDS and our goal of ending the HIV epidemic in America by 2030.
Fourth Iteration of COVID-19 Treatment Trial Underway (HERE)
· The National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), one of the National Institutes of Health, today announced that the fourth iteration of the Adaptive COVID-19 Treatment Trial (ACTT-4) has begun to enroll hospitalized adults with coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) who require supplemental oxygen.
Experimental Vaccine for Deadly Tickborne Virus Effective in Cynomolgus Macaques (HERE)
· An experimental vaccine developed in Europe to prevent infection by Crimean-Congo hemorrhagic fever virus (CCHFV) has protected cynomolgus macaques in a new collaborative study from National Institutes of Health scientists.
NIH Announces Restructured HIV Clinical Trials Networks (HERE)
· The National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), part of the National Institutes of Health, today announced the clinical investigators and institutions that will lead four NIH HIV clinical trials networks over the next seven years to conduct the innovative, efficient clinical research needed to accelerate progress against the HIV pandemic.
NIH Statement on World AIDS Day 2020 (HERE)
· Today on World AIDS Day, we reflect both on the remarkable progress that has been made against HIV as well as the considerable challenges that remain. We now have highly effective HIV treatment and prevention methods, and work is underway to address the remaining challenges in delivering these tools to the people who need them most.
Supporting Workers and Families to Prevent Burnout and Promote Well-Being (HERE)
· During the presentation, speakers covered topics including juggling work and non-work roles, resources for workers to address work stress, how companies can support team members virtually, and recognizing the needs of workers.
Decline in SARS-CoV-2 Antibodies after Mild Infection among Frontline Health Care Personnel in a Multistate Hospital Network — 12 States, April–August 2020 (HERE)
· Among 156 frontline health care personnel who had positive SARS-CoV-2 antibody test results in spring 2020, 94% experienced a decline at repeat testing approximately 60 days later, and 28% seroreverted to below the threshold of positivity.
Implementation of Hospital Practices Supportive of Breastfeeding in the Context of COVID-19 (HERE)
· Because of the pandemic, 17.9% of hospitals reported that in-person lactation support had decreased, and 72.9% reported discharging mothers and their babies <48 hours after birth
COVID-19 Outbreak Associated with a 10-Day Motorcycle Rally in a Neighboring State (HERE)
· Following a 10-day motorcycle rally in South Dakota attended by approximately 460,000 persons, 51 confirmed primary event-associated cases, 21 secondary cases, and five tertiary cases were identified in Minnesota residents.
Trends in County-Level COVID-19 Incidence in Counties With and Without a Mask Mandate (HERE)
· The governor of Kansas issued an executive order requiring wearing masks in public spaces, effective July 3, 2020, which was subject to county authority to opt out. After July 3, COVID-19 incidence decreased in 24 counties with mask mandates but continued to increase in 81 counties without mask mandates.
The Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices’ Ethical Principles for Allocating Initial Supplies of COVID-19 Vaccine (HERE)
· In addition to scientific data and implementation feasibility, four ethical principles will assist ACIP in formulating recommendations for the initial allocation of COVID-19 vaccine: 1) maximizing benefits and minimizing harms; 2) promoting justice; 3) mitigating health inequities; and 4) promoting transparency.
Trump Administration Finalizes Policies to Give Medicare Beneficiaries More Choices around Surgery (HERE)
· Today, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) is finalizing policy changes that will give Medicare patients and their doctors greater choices to get care at a lower cost in an outpatient setting. The Outpatient Prospective Payment System (OPPS) and Ambulatory Surgical Center (ASC) final rules will increase value for Medicare beneficiaries and reflect the agency’s efforts to transform the healthcare delivery system through competition and innovation.
Trump Administration Finalizes Permanent Expansion of Medicare Telehealth Services and Improved Payment for Time Doctors Spend with Patients (HERE)
· Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) released the annual Physician Fee Schedule (PFS) final rule, prioritizing CMS’ investment in primary care and chronic disease management by increasing payments to physicians and other practitioners for the additional time they spend with patients, especially those with chronic conditions. The rule allows non-physician practitioners to provide the care they were trained and licensed to give, cutting red tape so healthcare professionals can practice at the top of their license and spend more time with patients instead of on unnecessary paperwork.
CMS Updates Coverage Policies for Artificial Hearts and Ventricular Assist Devices (VADs) (HERE)
· Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) finalized updates to Medicare coverage policies for artificial hearts and ventricular assist devices (VADs), both of which are used to treat patients with life-threatening advanced heart failure.
CMS Announces Comprehensive Strategy to Enhance Hospital Capacity amid COVID-19 Surge (HERE)
· Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) outlined unprecedented comprehensive steps to increase the capacity of the American health care system to provide care to patients outside a traditional hospital setting amid a rising number of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) hospitalizations across the country.
Federal Health Insurance Exchange Weekly Enrollment Snapshot: Week Three (HERE)
· In Week Three of the 2021 Open Enrollment period, 758,421 people selected plans using the HealthCare.gov platform. As in past years, enrollment weeks are measured Sunday through Saturday.
How to Apply for the Extreme and Uncontrollable Circumstances Hardship Exception (HERE)
· This video explains how to apply for an Extreme and Uncontrollable Circumstances Exception through the Quality Payment Program portal to reweight one or more Merit-based Incentive Payment System (MIPS) performance categories to 0% if you encounter an extreme and uncontrollable circumstance or public health emergency, such as COVID-19, that is outside of your control.
FDA Coronavirus (COVID-19) Update: December 1, 2020 (HERE)
· The U.S. Food and Drug Administration continues to announce actions taken in its ongoing response effort to the COVID-19.
FDA Announces Advisory Committee Meeting to Discuss Second COVID-19 Vaccine Candidate (HERE)
· The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has scheduled a meeting of its Vaccines and Related Biological Products Advisory Committee (VRBPAC) on Dec. 17 to discuss the request for emergency use authorization (EUA) for a COVID-19 vaccine from Moderna Inc.
FDA Issues New Policy on Dry Heat for Reuse of Certain Respirators (HERE)
· Today, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) issued guidance on the use of dry heat to help support the single-user reuse of certain particulate filtering facepiece respirators (FFRs), such as N95 respirators, by health care personnel when there is a limited supply of respirators during the COVID-19 public health emergency.
FEMA Provides $46 Million to the Cleveland Clinic Foundation (HERE)
· The U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and Ohio Emergency Management Agency (Ohio EMA) announced today that $46,077,160 in federal funding has been made available to the Cleveland Clinic Foundation for costs related to the state’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic under the federal disaster declaration of March 31, 2020.
Statement of Secretary Steven T. Mnuchin before the U.S. Senate Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs Committee (HERE)
· “When I last testified before you in September, I stated that America is in the midst of the fastest economic recovery from any crisis in U.S. history. I am proud to say that while there is more work to be done, that statement is even more true today.”
Treasury and Federal Reserve Board Announce Extension of Four Lending Facilities Until March 31, 2021 (HERE)
· U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven T. Mnuchin sent a letter to Chairman of the Federal Reserve Board of Governors Jerome Powell approving the extension of four of its credit facilities until March 31, 2021.
IRS Expands Identity Protection PIN Opt-In Program to Taxpayers Nationwide (HERE)
· As part of the Security Summit effort, the Internal Revenue Service announced today that starting in January the Identity Protection PIN Opt-In Program will be expanded to all taxpayers who can properly verify their identities.
2021 Online Tax Preparation Products to Offer Multi-Factor Authentication for Taxpayers, Tax Pros (HERE)
· The Internal Revenue Service, state tax agencies and the tax industry today marked the second day of National Tax Security Awareness Week by announcing an improved feature that will be available on all 2021 online tax preparation products.
National Tax Security Awareness Week Opens with Warnings to All Taxpayers and Tax Professionals as Holidays, 2021 Tax Season Approach (HERE)
· The Internal Revenue Service and the Security Summit partners today issued warnings to all taxpayers and tax professionals to beware of scams and identity theft schemes by criminals taking advantage of the combination of holiday shopping, the approaching tax season and coronavirus concerns.
Special $300 Tax Deduction Helps Most People Give to Charity This Year – Even if They Don’t Itemize (HERE)
· The Internal Revenue Service today reminded taxpayers of a special new provision that will allow more people to easily deduct up to $300 in donations to qualifying charities this year.
SBA Proposes Small Business Size Standard Revisions in Five Industrial Sectors; Change Aimed at Increasing Eligibility for Contracting and Loan Programs (HERE)
· The U.S. Small Business Administration is seeking public comments on a proposed rule that would revise the small business size standards for businesses in five North American Industrial Classification System (NAICS) sectors to increase small business eligibility for SBA’s loan and contracting programs.
HUD Awards $54.7 Million in Grants to Expand Development of New Rental Housing for Extremely Low-Income Persons with Disabilities (HERE)
· The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development today announced the award of over $54.7 million in capital advance and project rental assistance grants to 15 organizations, to expand the supply of affordable rental housing for extremely low-income persons with disabilities.
ICYMI: U.S. Department of Labor Acts to Help American Workers and Employers during the Coronavirus Pandemic (HERE)
· Last week, the U.S. Department of Labor took a range of actions to aid American workers and employers as our nation combats the coronavirus pandemic.
U.S. Department of Labor Announces WIOA Guidance on Priority of Service for Americans in Need (HERE)
· The U.S. Department of Labor released a Training and Employment Guidance Letter today announcing its vision for a priority of service in the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA) Adult program and explaining how the Department’s Employment and Training Administration (ETA) expects states to implement the priority requirement.
U.S. Department of Labor’s OSHA Announces $3,301,932 in Coronavirus Violations (HERE)
· Since the start of the coronavirus pandemic through Nov. 19, 2020, the U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has issued citations arising from 244 inspections for violations relating to coronavirus, resulting in proposed penalties totaling $3,301,932.
U.S. Department of Transportation is preparing the Way for Swift COVID-19 Vaccine Transport (HERE)
· The U.S. Department of Transportation (Department) today announced that all of its necessary regulatory measures have been taken for the safe, rapid transportation of the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) vaccine by land and air. With the unprecedented pace of vaccine development through Operation Warp Speed, the Department has made preparations to enable the immediate mass shipment of the COVID-19 vaccine.
Air Travel Consumer Report: September 2020 and 3rd Quarter 2020 Numbers (HERE)
· The U.S. Department of Transportation today released its November 2020 Air Travel Consumer Report (ATCR) on reporting marketing and operating air carrier data compiled for the month of September 2020.
Outdoor Recreation Accounts for $460 Billion in U.S. GDP (HERE)
· The new U.S. data show that the outdoor recreation economy accounted for 2.1 percent ($459.8 billion) of current-dollar gross domestic product (GDP) for the nation in 2019.
U.S. Department of Commerce Continues to Invest Cares Act Funding to Boost Economic Development Programs Critical to Helping Communities Respond to Coronavirus (HERE)
· EDA CARES Act Recovery Assistance, which is being administered under the authority of the bureau’s flexible Economic Adjustment Assistance (EAA) program, provides a wide-range of financial assistance to eligible communities and regions as they respond to and recover from the impacts of the coronavirus pandemic. For complete information, please visit EDA CARES Act Recovery Assistance page.
VA Solid Start Program Makes Strides in First Year (HERE)
· The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) announced today, as VA Solid Start celebrates its one year anniversary — the Veterans Benefits Administrationconnected with nearly 70,000 newly-separated service members.
This Week in Operation Warp (HERE)
· Below is a compilation of initiatives, actions and accomplishments across Operation Warp Speed (OWS)’s primary efforts in the past week.
Recovery Hub: Explore available SBA assistance and funding programs, Coronavirus relief, and other financing options and tools to keep your business going.More information can be found here and below.
Economic Response Timeline: The U.S. Department of the Treasury is leading the response to COVID-19 by providing fast and direct economic assistance for American workers, families, and small businesses and preserving jobs for American industries.More information can be found here.
Assistance for Farmers, Ranchers, and Rural America
· Coronavirus Food Assistance Programs (CFAP): On April 17, the President announced the CFAP program, which provided up to $16 billion in direct payments to deliver relief to farmers and ranchers across the country impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. An additional $13 billion was announced on September 18th to continue to assist farmers impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. More information here.
· Federal Rural Resource Guide: USDA developed a Federal Rural Resource Guide, which outlines Federal funding opportunities identified in the CARES Act and other federal resources that can help support rural America. Find the Resource Guide here.
· Farmers to Families Food Box Program (FFFB): On April 17, USDA announced that the Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) is partnering with national, regional and local distributors, whose workforces have been significantly impacted by the closure of restaurants, hotels and other food service businesses, to purchase up to $3 billion in fresh produce, dairy and meat products from American producers of all sizes. More information here.
· Emergency Meals to You: USDA announced an innovated public-private partnership to provide 5 million meals a week to the doorsteps of low-income kids in rural communities across America impacted by COVID-19-related school closures – five times its original goal. Meals to You boxes contained 20 nutritious meals – 10 breakfasts and 10 lunches – to cover the meals children would normally receive at school over two school weeks. In total, more than 38 million meals were delivered. More information here.
· Emergency Supplemental SNAP Benefits: In response to COVID-19, USDA has brought all SNAP households up to the maximum benefit level, totaling more than $2 billion per month. These emergency benefits represent a 40% increase in overall monthly SNAP benefits. USDA also rapidly expanded the online purchasing pilot to allow more SNAP recipients to shop for their groceries online and stay safe. More than 97 percent of all households receiving SNAP now have access to online purchasing across 46 States.
· Pandemic EBT (P-EBT): USDA worked with states to provide benefits (similar to SNAP or “food stamps”) to children who normally receive free or reduced price school meals through the Pandemic EBT or P-EBT program. P-EBT helps supplement family budgets by replacing the value of those lost school meals. SNAP and Child Nutrition agencies in each of the 50 states, the District of Columbia, and the U.S. Virgin Islands have collaborated to design, build, and administer P-EBT programs to distribute billions of dollars in food assistance to eligible children and their families.
Assistance for Small Businesses
Paycheck Protection Program (PPP): The Paycheck Protection Program established by the CARES Act, is implemented by the Small Business Administration with support from the Department of the Treasury. The Paycheck Protection Program is providing small businesses with the resources they need to maintain their payroll, hire back employees who may have been laid off, and cover applicable overhead. On June 6, 2020, President Trump signed legislation providing more flexibility and relief for small businesses, including extending the covered period for loan forgiveness from 8 weeks after the date of loan disbursement to 24 weeks and lowering the requirements that 75% of a borrower’s loan proceeds must be used for payroll costs to 60%. More information can be found below:
· Lender Hotline: +1 (833) 572-0502
Current law dictates that the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) close at the end of August 8, 2020. As such, SBA is no longer accepting PPP applications from participating lenders.
Economic Injury Disaster Loans & Advance Program: In response to the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, small business owners and non-profit organizations in all U.S. states, Washington D.C., and territories are able to apply for an Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL). EIDL is designed to provide economic relief to businesses that are currently experiencing a temporary loss of revenue. EIDL proceeds can be used to cover a wide array of working capital and normal operating expenses, such as continuation to health care benefits, rent, utilities, and fixed debt payments.
SBA Express Bridge Loans: Express Bridge Loan Pilot Program allows small businesses who currently have a business relationship with an SBA Express Lender to access up to $25,000 quickly. These loans can provide vital economic support to small businesses to help overcome the temporary loss of revenue they are experiencing and can be a term loans or used to bridge the gap while applying for a direct SBA Economic Injury Disaster loan. If a small business has an urgent need for cash while waiting for decision and disbursement on an Economic Injury Disaster Loan, they may qualify for an SBA Express Disaster Bridge Loan.
Assistance for American Workers and Families
American Workforce Policy Advisory Board – Call to Action: The American Workforce Policy Advisory Board has released a call-to-action to help the millions of workers who need assistance now, and build the resilient and agile workforce of the future powered by skilled American workers. Specific actions:
· Expedite American workers’ return to employment and upward mobility by investing in career pathways and implementing skills-based hiring practices.
· Remove obstacles to the modernization of American education and training to accelerate reskilling and facilitate innovation in workforce development.
· Build the technological infrastructure necessary for the future of work.
Find Something New: FindSomethingNew.orgcan help workers of all ages and backgrounds identify the right path for their career goals by recommending multiple educational pathways, providing aptitude testing, offering a directory of critical resources for child care, food assistance, internet access and more. Educational pathways featured include online learning, professional certification programs, associate’s degrees, and vocational, technical and trades education.
Economic Impact Payments: The CARES Act provides for Economic Impact Payments to American households of up to $1,200 per adult for individuals whose income was less than $99,000 ( or $198,000 for joint filers) and $500 per child under 17 years old – or up to $3,400 for a family of four. More information can be found here.
Preserving Jobs for American Industry: The CARES Act offers meaningful financial support to American businesses and job creators so they can better support employees and be prepared to get back to business as soon as possible. More information can be found here.
Supporting Child Care: The CARES Act provided an additional $3.5 billion to the Child Care and Development Block Grant to support families with child care options during this public health crisis. Additional information and State-level information can be found here.
Dislocated Worker Grants: The U.S. Department of Labor is providing Dislocated Worker Grants to prevent, prepare for and respond to COVID-19. State-by-State data and additional details can be found here.
Temporary Halt in Residential Evictions: On August 8th, 2020, President Trump signed an Executive Order to ensure Americans facing financial hardships due to the coronavirus do not face eviction or foreclosure.
School and Child Care Programs: The CDC and U.S. Department of Education continue to provide resources and tools for school administrators, teachers, parents, guardians, and caregivers as schools open this fall.
Assistance for Communities
CARES Act Recovery Assistance Grants: The U.S. Department of Commerce’s Economic Development Administration (EDA)is awarding CARES Act Recovery Assistance Grants to assist communities in responding to the coronavirus pandemic. These grants are being administered under the authority of the bureau’s flexible Economic Adjustment Assistance (EAA) program, which provides a wide-range of financial assistance to eligible communities and regions as they respond to and recover from the impacts of the coronavirus pandemic. For complete information, please visit the recently updated EDA CARES Act Recovery Assistance page.
SPRINT Challenge: The Scaling Pandemic Resilience Through Innovation and Technology (SPRINT) Challenge will enable organizations across the country to address the economic, health, and safety risks caused by the coronavirus pandemic through entrepreneurship and innovation.
· The SPRINT Challenge is a $25 million national competition funded by the CARES Act.
· With the publication of the SPRINT Challenge Notice of Funding Opportunity (NOFO), EDA seeks projects that aim to prevent, prepare for, and respond to the coronavirus pandemic and future pandemics. The deadline to apply for the Challenge is December 3, 2020.
· Applicant Resources:
Opportunity Zones: Opportunity Zones were created under the 2017 Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, signed into law by President Donald J. Trump on December 22, 2017, to stimulate economic development and job creation, by incentivizing long- term investments in low-income neighborhoods. During the COVID-19 pandemic, President Trump directed the White House Opportunity and Revitalization Council to focus on underserved communities impacted by the virus. For more information, visit opportunityzones.gov.
How to Help
Donate COVID-19 Plasma
· If you have fully recovered from COVID-19, you may be able to help patients currently fighting the infection by donating your plasma. Because you fought the infection, your plasma now contains COVID-19 antibodies. These antibodies provided one way for your immune system to fight the virus when you were sick, so your plasma may be able to be used to help others fight off the disease. Learn more here.
· To find where you can donate source plasma, visit donatingplasma.org.
· The COVID-19 pandemic has caused unprecedented challenges to the U.S. blood supply. Donor centers have experienced a dramatic reduction in donations due to the implementation of social distancing and the cancellation of blood drives. Blood is needed every day to provide lifesaving treatments to a variety of patients. You can help ensure that blood continues to be available for patients by finding a blood donor center near you to schedule your donation. Learn more here.
· To find where you can donate blood, visit aabb.org.
Donate Supplies and Equipment
· If you represent a business that would like to donate medical supplies, equipment or pharmaceuticals, please provide details on what you would like to give. This form is for donations only.
Sell Supplies and Equipment
· If you are interested in doing business with FEMA with your company’s non-medical goods and/or services, submit your inquiry to the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Procurement Action Innovative Response Team (PAIR) team at [email protected].
Developing Medical Countermeasures
· If you would like to meet with a federal agency regarding a vaccine, diagnostic, therapeutic or other medical device that you are developing for SARS-CoV-2 or COVID-19, please go to medicalcountermeasures.gov.
Other Forms of Help
· If you or someone you know represent a hospital or healthcare provider in need of medical supplies, please contact your state, local, tribal or territory department of public health and/or emergency management agency.
· If you represent a private sector business and wish to learn more about getting involved in a way that is not listed here, please e-mail [email protected] or visit our National Business Emergency Operations Center page.
Join the Fight
· NIH, HHS, and OWS continue to recruit new clinical trial participants. Visit combatcovid.hhs.gov to learn how to participate. Prevention and treatment trials are open to those who have never had or who do have COVID-19, and plasma donation opportunities are available for recovered individuals.
For additional information, please visit FEMA’s website: www.fema.gov/coronavirus/how-to-help.
Guidelines for Opening Up America Again
President Trump has unveiled Guidelines for Opening Up America Again, a three-phased approach based on the advice of public health experts. These steps will help state and local officials when reopening their economies, getting people back to work, and continuing to protect American lives.
· Testing Overview (HERE)
· Testing Blueprint (HERE)
· Guidance for Cleaning and Disinfecting Public Spaces, Workplaces, Businesses, Schools and Homes (HERE)
· CDC Activities and Initiatives Supporting the COVID-19 Response and the President’s Plan for Opening America Up Again (HERE)
· 🎬 WATCH: CDC Videos:
Operation Warp Speed
· The President is using all available means to ensure safe vaccines, therapeutics, and diagnostics are developed, manufactured, and distributed in unprecedented time and scale in response to COVID-19.
· Earlier this year, President Trump launched Operation Warp Speed, a groundbreaking partnership between the Federal Government, scientific community, and private sector to develop and deliver vaccines in record time.
o Operation Warp Speed’s goal is to produce and deliver 300 million doses of safe and effective vaccines with the initial doses available by January 2021.
· The Administration has made large investments in multiple vaccine candidates to provide financial infrastructure for mass manufacturing, in parallel with late-stage clinical trials.
· Operation Warp Speed has invested in more than five vaccines and teamed up with multiple pharmaceutical companies to safely produce as many effective vaccines as possible.
· A number of vaccine candidates have shown promising early clinical results and are either in or starting Phase 3 clinical trials.
· Clinical resources on vaccines, including continuing education training on best practices can be found here.
· The Operation Warp Speed Strategy for Distributing a COVID-19 Vaccine can be found here.
· More information on Operation Warp Speed can be found here.
For the most up-to-date information, please see the CDC’s website: www.coronavirus.gov.