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COVID-19 News Updates – March 23, 2020

COVID-19 News Updates - March 23, 2020

Surgeon General: Delay elective medical, dental procedures to help us fight coronavirus (HERE)

·       The lives of many, especially our most vulnerable, are at stake. We can win this war if we all commit to taking the right actions for our country.

Peter Navarro: Coronavirus – How businesses are stepping up, collaborating with Trump administration (HERE)

·       President Trump has promised to unite the full force of the federal government with the full power of American enterprise to respond to the China Wuhan virus – and the response from the private sector has been overwhelming.

DHS Announcement: Important Message on Essential Financial Services Sector Workers – From U.S. Treasury Secretary Mnuchin

·       Workers across the financial services sector play an important role in supporting the American people and our Nation’s economy.  Consistent with the need to ensure access for essential financial services workers, Secretary Mnuchin issued the attached memorandum.  This memorandum points to guidelines from the President and the Department of Homeland Security, which provides guidance to State and local officials as they work to protect their communities while ensuring continuity of critical functions to public health and safety, as well as economic and national security. Everyone should follow guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention as well as State and local officials regarding strategies to limit disease spread.  We are dedicated to working closely with all of you to ensure the safety of the workforce and ensure the continued operations of the financial services sector in support of our Nation’s economy. For further information please see the Treasury memo and the CISA memo.

OCR Issues Guidance on Telehealth Remote Communications Following Its Notification of Enforcement Discretion (HERE)

·       The Notification, issued earlier this week, announced, effective immediately, that OCR is exercising its enforcement discretion to not impose penalties for HIPAA violations against healthcare providers in connection with their good faith provision of telehealth using communication technologies during the COVID-19 nationwide public health emergency.

HHS Funds Phase 2/3 Clinical Trial for Potential Treatment for COVID-19 (HERE)

·       An antibody medicine being evaluated to treat severe cases of COVID-19 will receive additional support from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services' Office of the Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response under an existing partnership with Regeneron Pharmaceuticals of Tarrytown, New York.

FDA Continues to Facilitate Access to Crucial Medical Products, Including Ventilators (HERE)

·       Today, the FDA took significant action to help increase the availability of ventilators and accessories, as well as other respiratory devices, during the COVID-19 pandemic to support patients with respiratory failure or difficulty breathing.

FDA Provides Update on Patient Access to Certain REMS Drugs During COVID-19 Public Health Emergency (HERE)

·       Today, as part of the FDA’s ongoing efforts to address COVID-19, the agency issued a new guidance to sponsors and healthcare providers regarding certain Risk Evaluation and Mitigation Strategy (REMS)-required testing during this time.

CMS Announces Findings at Kirkland Nursing Home and New Targeted Plan for Healthcare Facility Inspections in light of COVID-19 (HERE)

·       Today, CMS is announcing the preliminary results of a recent inspection of the Life Care Center nursing home in Kirkland, Washington – the epicenter of the COVID-19 outbreak in that state.

FEMA COVID-19 Pandemic: Public Assistance Simplified Application (HERE)

·       The Fact Sheet supplements Fact Sheet: Coronavirus Pandemic Emergency Protective Measures and provides an overview of the FEMA Public Assistance application process for recipients and applicants requesting reimbursement related to federal emergency and major disaster declarations for Coronavirus.

DHS Measures on the Border to Limit the Further Spread of Coronavirus (HERE)

·       In order to limit the further spread of coronavirus, the U.S. has reached agreements with both Canada and Mexico to limit all non-essential travel across borders. Working closely and collaboratively, the Department of Homeland Security is part of a North American approach to stop the spread of the virus.

Veterans’ GI Bill Benefits to Continue During COVID-19 Pandemic (HERE)

·       President Trump signed into law S. 3503, March 21, which will enable the Department of Veterans Affairs to continue providing the same level of education benefits to students having to take courses online due to the coronavirus outbreak.

2020 Census Operation Adjustments Due to COVID-19 (HERE)

·       The U.S. Census Bureau is adapting or delaying some of its operations to protect the health and safety of staff and the public.

DOJ Files Its First Enforcement Action Against COVID-19 Fraud (HERE)

·       The enforcement action filed today in Austin against operators of a fraudulent website follows Attorney General William Barr’s recent direction for the department to prioritize the detection, investigation, and prosecution of illegal conduct related to the pandemic.

Secretary DeVos Published New Resources on Accessibility and Distance Learning Options (HERE)

·       Secretary DeVos announced today the Department has released new information clarifying that federal law should not be used to prevent schools from offering distance learning opportunities to all students, including students with disabilities.

Treasury and Federal Reserve Board Expand Measures to Enhance Liquidity and Flow of Credit to American Workers, Households and Businesses (HERE)

·       The spread of coronavirus has disrupted economic activity and put significant liquidity pressure on U.S. businesses. To immediately enhance liquidity and support American workers, households, and businesses through this challenging period, Secretary Mnuchin today authorized the expansion of two recently launched facilities and the establishment of three new facilities to provide liquidity to the financial system pursuant to section 13(3) of the Federal Reserve Act.

Carranza Implements Automatic Deferment on Existing SBA Disaster Loans Through End of 2020 (HERE)

·       Today, SBA Administrator Jovita Carranza announced changes to help borrowers still paying back SBA loans from previous disasters. By making this change, deferments through December 31, 2020, will be automatic. Now, borrowers of home and business disaster loans do not have to contact SBA to request deferment.


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