Coronavirus Update for Monday, August 31

The following is the latest COVID-19 information from the federal government as of 2:30 p.m. on Monday, August 31.

Provider Relief Fund

  • The Department of Health and Human Services has updated its CARES Act Provider Relief Fund FAQ.
    • Six questions on pages 30 and 31, marked “Modified 8/25/2020,” primarily address submitting requests for phase 2 distributions.
    • Five questions on pages 9, 22-23, 23, 32-33, and 33 are marked “Modified 8/27/2020” or “Added 8/27/2020” and address applying for phase 2 distributions.
    • Five questions, on pages 44 and 45, address the upcoming nursing home infection control distribution and are marked “Added 8/27/2020.”

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services

CMS COVID-19 Stakeholder Calls

CMS hosts recurring stakeholder engagement sessions to share information related to its response to COVID-19.  These sessions are open to members of the health care community and are intended to provide updates, share best practices among peers, and offer attendees an opportunity to ask questions of CMS and other subject matter experts.

CMS COVID-19 Office Hours Call

Tuesday, September 8 at 5:00 – 6:00 PM Eastern

Toll-free attendee dial-in: 833-614-0820; Access Passcode: 6196045

To join call, go here.

Tuesday, September 22 at 5:00 – 6:00 PM Eastern

Toll-free attendee dial-in: 833-614-0820; Access Passcode: 2409459

To join call, go here.

Lessons from the Front Lines: COVID-19

Friday, September 4 at 12:30 – 2:00 PM Eastern

Toll-free attendee dial-in: 833-614-0820; Access Passcode: 3374248

To join call, go here.

Friday, September 18 at 12:30 – 2:00 PM Eastern

Toll-free attendee dial-in: 833-614-0820; Access Passcode: 4446447

To join call, go here.

Home Health and Hospice Call

Tuesday, September 8 at 3:00 – 3:30 PM Eastern

Toll-free attendee dial-in: 833-614-0820 Access Passcode: 4165236
To join call, go here.

Tuesday, September 22n at 3:00 – 3:30 PM Eastern

Toll-free attendee dial-in: 833-614-0820; Access Passcode: 1169237
To join call, go here.

Nursing Homes Call

Wednesday, September 9 at 4:30 – 5:00 PM Eastern

Toll-free attendee dial-in: 833-614-0820; Access Passcode: 5475686
To join call, go here.

Friday, September 18 at 12:30 – 2:00 PM Eastern

Toll-free attendee dial-in: 833-614-0820; Access Passcode: 4446447

To join call, go here.

Dialysis Organizations Call

Wednesday, September 9 at 5:30 – 6:00 PM Eastern

Toll-free attendee dial-in: 833-614-0820; Access Passcode: 6925269
To join call, go here.

Wednesday, September 23 at 5:30 – 6:00 PM Eastern

Toll-free attendee dial-in: 833-614-0820; Access Passcode: 7026727
To join call, go here.

Nurses Call

Thursday, September 10 at 3:00 – 3:30 PM Eastern

Toll-free attendee dial-in: 833-614-0820; Access Passcode: 5767207
To join call, go here.

Thursday, September 24 at 3:00 – 3:30 PM Eastern

Toll-free attendee dial-in: 833-614-0820; Access Passcode: 5872398
To join call, here.

Conference lines are limited, so CMS encourages interested parties to join via audio webcast.  To listen to the audio files and read the transcripts for these and past COVID-19 Stakeholder calls, visit CMS’s Podcast and Transcripts page.

Department of Health and Human Services

  • HHS has entered into a contract to purchase 150 million units of a rapid point-of-care COVID-19 test.  Go here to see HHS’s news release announcing the contract.

Food and Drug Administration

  • The FDA has broadened its emergency authorization (EUA) for remdesivir to encompass treatment for all hospitalized adult and pediatric patients with suspected or confirmed COVID-19 regardless of the severity of their illness.  Learn more from the FDA’s news release announcing the new policy and from the emergency use authorization itself.  In addition, the FDA has updated its fact sheet on the drug.
  • The FDA’s Vaccines and Related Biological Products Advisory Committee will meet on October 22 from 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. (eastern) to discuss the development, authorization, and licensure of vaccines to prevent COVID-19.  Learn more from the FDA’s announcement about the meeting and go here for information about how to join the meeting on the web.
  • The FDA has approved an abbreviated new drug application for dexmedetomidine hydrochloride in 0.9 percent sodium chloride injection (ANDA 212571), indicated for the sedation of initially intubated and mechanically ventilated patients during treatment in an intensive-care setting as well as the sedation of non-intubated patients prior to and/or during surgical and other procedures.

Department of Labor

  • The Department of Labor has posted an FAQ for workers and employers about qualifying for paid leave under the Families First Coronavirus Response Act.  The new FAQ explains eligibility for paid leave relative to the varied formats and schedules schools have announced as they plan to reopen, including blending in-person with distance learning.  The department is providing this information to explain the benefits and protections available under both the paid sick leave and the expanded family and medical leave provisions of Families First law.  Go here for the department’s announcement of this posting and here to see the FAQ.

Government Accountability Office

  • The GAO has published “COVID-19:  Brief Update on Initial Federal Response to the Pandemic.”  Find it here.

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