Coronavirus update for Thursday, May 14 as of 3:00 p.m.
Department of Health and Human Services
- HHS is sending out its largest distribution of remdesivir this week. As of this week, HHS will have sent out 40 percent of its current supply. The drug is being sent to state health departments, which will distribute it to hospitals. Hospitals are being asked to update their data on COVID and suspected COVID inpatients and ICU patients on a weekly basis via the teletracking portal. The next deadline is Monday, May 18 at midnight. Once the federal supply is exhausted the federal government will not receive any additional donated doses of the drug.
Federal Emergency Management Agency
- FEMA has updated its policy on COVID-19 medical costs eligible for public assistance under the agency’s FEMA Public Assistance Program. Eligible recipients for these funds include state, local, tribal, and territorial entities and certain private, non-profit organization-owned and/or operated medical facilities.
Department of Homeland Security/U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services
- The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services has issued a policy memorandum describing temporary policy changes for certain foreign medical graduates during the COVID-19 emergency. The temporary policy addresses situations in which H-1B foreign medical graduates are temporarily unable to work full-time due to quarantine, illness, travel restrictions, or other consequences of the pandemic during the COVID-19 emergency.
Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services
- CMS has issued a new toolkit on state actions and best practices to mitigate the prevalence of COVID-19 in nursing homes.
Occupational Safety and Health Administration
- OSHA has issued an alert with information to keep nursing home and long-term care facility workers safe during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration
- SAMHSA is inviting applications for $40 million in grants to support states and communities during the COVID-19 pandemic in advancing efforts to prevent suicide and suicide attempts among adults 25 and older in order to reduce the overall suicide rate and number of suicides in the United States.
National Institutes of Health
- The NIH announced that a clinical trial has begun to evaluate whether hydroxychloroquine, given together with the antibiotic azithromycin, can prevent hospitalization and death from COVID-19.
Food and Drug Administration
- The FDA has posted information about thermal imaging systems and their uses, and limits, in serving confirmed and suspected COVID-19 patients. This information supplements the agency’s enforcement policy for telethermographic systems during the COVID-19 emergency, which was issued last month.
- On Friday, May 15, the FDA will hold a virtual town hall for researchers, clinical laboratories, and commercial manufacturers to discuss the production and use of 3D-printed swabs during the COVID-19 crisis. Learn more here.
- In light of an insufficient supply of infusion pumps and infusion pump accessories needed to treat COVID-19 patients, the FDA has written to the manufacturers of such equipment, health care providers, distributors, and other stakeholders outlining the conditions under which it will issue emergency use authorizations (EUA) for infusion pumps and infusion pump accessories.
- The FDA has issued EUAs for four specific commercial diagnostic tests for COVID-19; find them here, here, here, and here.
Federal Funding Opportunities for Hospitals
- NASH has prepared a document that collects and presents in one place the various new federal funding opportunities for hospitals resulting from legislation addressing the COVID-19 public health emergency. Find that document here.
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