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COVID-19 News Updates - April 8, 2020

COVID-19 News Updates for April 8, 2020:

 

30 Days to Slow the Spread

President Trump announced updated guidelines to continue slowing the spread of Coronavirus in America. This 30-day window will be crucial: If every American does his or her part, the latest model suggests we could save 1 million or more U.S. lives. Please click here for more information: 30 Days to Slow the Spread (Español)

 If you are a healthcare worker and would like to volunteer to assist in New York City, please find more information here.

White House COVID-19 Updates

·         President Trump and Members of the Coronavirus Task Force Hold a Press Briefing (VIDEO)

·         A Message from First Lady Melania Trump to Frontline Responders (VIDEO)

·         President Trump Approves Disaster Declaration for Vermont

·         Daily 1600 – President Trump’s Message to America’s Big Banks (HERE)

Federal Reserve Board Announces It Will Modify the Growth Restriction on Wells Fargo So That It Can Provide Additional Support to Small Businesses (HERE)

·         Due to the extraordinary disruptions from the coronavirus, the Federal Reserve Board on Wednesday announced that it will temporarily and narrowly modify the growth restriction on Wells Fargo so that it can provide additional support to small businesses. The change will only allow the firm to make additional small business loans as part of the Paycheck Protection Program, or PPP, and the Federal Reserve's forthcoming Main Street Lending Program.

HHS Announces Ventilator Contract with GM under Defense Production Act (HERE)

·         This week, HHS announced the first contract for ventilator production rated under the Defense Production Act, to General Motors. GM’s contract, at a total contract price of $489.4 million, is for 30,000 ventilators to be delivered to the Strategic National Stockpile by the end of August 2020, with a production schedule allowing for the delivery of 6,132 ventilators by June 1, 2020.

HHS Announces Ventilator Contract with Philips under Defense Production Act (HERE)

·         HHS announced the second contract for ventilator production rated under the Defense Production Act (DPA), to Philips. Philips’s contract, at a total contract price of $646.7 million, is for a production schedule allowing for the delivery of 2,500 ventilators to the Strategic National Stockpile by the end of May 2020 and a total of 43,000 ventilators to be delivered by the end of December 2020.

Indian Health Service Expands Telehealth Services During COVID-19 Response (HERE)

·         Today, IHS is announcing its expansion of telehealth across IHS federal facilities. Telehealth services means patients can stay home and reduce their risk of infection and also keep healthcare workers and others in waiting rooms and emergency departments safe from COVID-19.

OCR Reaches Early Case Resolution with Alabama After It Removes Discriminatory Ventilator Triaging Guidelines (HERE)

·         Today, the Office for Civil Rights at HHS is announcing that it has resolved a compliance review of the State of Alabama after the state removed ventilator rationing guidelines that allegedly discriminated on the basis of disability and age.

HHS Statements on Authorizing Licensed Pharmacists to Order and Administer COVID-19 Tests (HERE)

·         The Office of the Assistant Secretary for Health issued new guidance under the Public Readiness and Emergency Preparedness Act authorizing licensed pharmacists to order and administer COVID-19 tests that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration has authorized.

HHS to Provide Millions of TYVEK Protective Suits for U.S. Healthcare Workers (HERE)

·         HHS today announced an agreement with DuPont to expedite the delivery of critical personal protective equipment needed for frontline U.S. healthcare workers responding to the COVID-19 pandemic. DuPont will deliver 450,000 TYVEK® suits to the United States from its Hanoi, Vietnam manufacturing facility this week. HHS anticipates receiving 2.25 million TYVEK suits over the next five weeks with an option to continue purchasing up to a total of 4.5 million TYVEK suits.

HHS Awards $1.3 Billion to Health Centers in Historic U.S. Response to COVID-19 (HERE)

·         Today, HHS, through the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA), awarded more than $1.3 billion to 1,387 health centers as part of a historic U.S. response to the Coronavirus pandemic. HRSA-funded health centers may use the awards to help communities across the country detect coronavirus; prevent, diagnose, and treat COVID-19; and maintain or increase health capacity and staffing levels to address this public health emergency.

COVID-19 Maternal and Child Health Bureau FAQs (HERE)

·         HRSA is aware of the impacts the COVID-19 public health emergency has and will continue to have on families.

CMS Approves Approximately $34 Billion for Providers with the Accelerated/Advance Payment Program for Medicare Providers in One Week (HERE)

·         CMS has delivered near $34 billion in the past week to the healthcare providers on the frontlines battling (COVID-19). The funds have been provided through the expansion of the Accelerated and Advance Payment Program to ensure providers and suppliers have the resources needed to combat the pandemic.

CMS Issues New Wave of Infection Control Guidance Based on CDC Guidelines to Protect Patients and Healthcare Workers from COVID-19 (HERE)

·         The guidance, based on CDC guidelines, will help ensure infection control in the context of patient triage, screening and treatment, the use of alternate testing and treatment sites and telehealth, drive-through screenings, limiting visitations, cleaning and disinfection guidelines, staffing, and more.

2021 Medicare Advantage and Part D Rate Announcement Fact Sheet (HERE)

·         CMS published the Calendar Year (CY) 2021 Rate Announcement, finalizing Medicare Advantage and Part D payment methodologies for CY 2021.

FDA: Coronavirus (COVID-19) Update: Serological Tests (HERE)

·         Serological tests can play a critical role in the fight against COVID-19 by helping healthcare professionals to identify individuals who have overcome an infection in the past and have developed an immune response.

o   FDA Daily Roundup – April 8, 2020 (HERE)

FDA: Importing COVID-19 Supplies (HERE)

·         Shipment of COVID-19 supplies held-up at a port-of-entry? For assistance, contact the FDA office covering your port of entry. Visit the FDA Import Offices and Ports of Entry page for contact information and instructions. It includes an interactive map that importers can use to find the right office for their shipment and based on where the product is entering the United States.

Frequently Asked Questions on the Emergency Use Authorization for Chloroquine Phosphate and Hydroxychloroquine Sulfate for Certain Hospitalized COVID-19 Patients (HERE)

·         FDA has released an FAQ fact sheet regarding the use of Chloroquine Phosphate and Hydroxychloroquine Sulfate.

USDA: Arizona and California Added to Innovative SNAP Online Pilot Program (HERE)

·         Secretary Perdue today announced approval for Arizona and California’s request to provide online purchasing of food to SNAP Households in the States of Arizona and California. This approval will allow the States to expedite the implementation of online purchasing with currently authorized SNAP online retailers with a target start date later this month.

FEMA Letter to Distributors on Delivery of Medical Supplies (HERE)

·         As of April 6, 2020 All 50 states, the District of Columbia, five territories and 23 tribes are working directly with FEMA under the nationwide emergency declaration for COVID-19, and Stafford Act major disasters have been declared in more than 39 states and territories. Among other things, the Stafford Act authorizes FEMA to coordinate all disaster relief assistance provided by Federal agencies, private organizations, and State and local governments.

FEMA-CBP Joint Statement on Defense Production Act for PPE (HERE)

·         FEMA and CBP are working together to prevent domestic brokers, distributors, and other intermediaries from diverting these critical medical resources overseas. To accomplish this, CBP will detain shipments of the PPE specified in the President’s Memorandum while FEMA determines whether to return the PPE for use within the United States; to purchase the PPE on behalf of the United States; or, allow it to be exported.

FEMA COVID-19 Supply Chain Task Force: Supply Chain Stabilization (HERE)

·         The Supply Chain Task Force continues to execute a strategy maximizing the availability of critical protective and lifesaving resources through FEMA for a whole-of-America response. Efforts to date have focused on reducing the medical supply chain capacity gap to both satisfy and relieve demand pressure on medical supply capacity.

CISA: UK and US Security Agencies Issue Covid-19 Cyber Threat Update (HERE)

·         A joint advisory published today by the UK’s National Cyber Security Centre and DHS Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency shows that cyber criminals and advanced persistent threat groups are targeting individuals and organizations with a range of ransomware and malware.

U.S. DOL Reminds Employers That They Cannot Retaliate Against Workers Reporting Unsafe Conditions during Coronavirus Pandemic (HERE)

·         OSHA is reminding employers that it is illegal to retaliate against workers because they report unsafe and unhealthful working conditions during the coronavirus pandemic. Acts of retaliation can include terminations, demotions, denials of overtime or promotion, or reductions in pay or hours.

DOE Announces $30 Million for Machine Learning and Artificial Intelligence Research (HERE)

·         Today, DOE announced a plan to provide up to $30 million for advanced research in machine learning and artificial intelligence for both scientific investigation and the management of complex systems.

State: Continuing U.S. Leadership in the Global COVID-19 Response Through Additional U.S. Foreign Assistance (HERE)

·         Thanks to the unmatched generosity of the American people and the efforts of the U.S. Government, the United States has continued to lead the world’s public health and humanitarian response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Comfort, Javits Center Open Care to COVID-19 Patients (HERE)

·         The Navy hospital ship USNS Comfort and the Defense Department-run alternate care facility at the Jacob K. Javits Convention Center, both in New York City, are now taking patients with COVID-19, defense medical officials said.

New Jersey National Guard Sets Up Field Medical Station at Meadowlands (HERE)

·         Twenty-five New Jersey National Guard citizen soldiers and airmen answered the call for volunteers to set up a field medical station at the Meadowlands Exposition Center in Secaucus, New Jersey.

DOD: Latest Force Health Protection Guidance (HERE)

·         The Under Secretary of Defense for Personnel and Readiness recently released the latest Force Health Protection guidance (supplements 5 and 6).

CARES Act helping VA boost protections for Veterans (HERE)

·         The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs has begun implementing the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security Act or CARES Act, signed into law March 27, to protect America’s Veterans. The CARES Act is best known as the law providing $2.2 trillion in economic relief to Americans and has language critical to ensuring the safety of Veterans.

 

For the most up-to-date information, please see the CDC’s website: www.coronavirus.gov.