The following is the latest COVID-19 information from the federal government as of 2:30 p.m. on Monday, January 4.
Provider Relief Fund
- HHS has updated its CARES Act Provider Relief Fund FAQ with six changes, all dated 12/28/2020. They can be found on pages 6 (accounting for Provider Relief Fund distributions), 16 (use of Provider Relief Fund grant money), 40 (HHS’s methodology for calculating Phase 3 distributions), 41 (two changes: one about how much providers should expect to receive from the Phase 3 distribution and the other about when providers can expect to receive their Phase 3 distributions), and 56 (addressing nursing home infection control incentive payments).
Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services
- CMS’s online publication MLN Connects presents links to resources for providers on the new COVID-19 ICD-10 billing codes taking effect in 2021 and provides information about how providers should respond to a specific COVID-19 PC-ACE software vaccine roster billing issue.
- CMS has written to state Medicaid programs to announce that it will exercise flexibility for exceeding the 24-hour limit for patients to remain in ambulatory surgical centers. CMS is temporarily exercising its survey enforcement discretion over this time limit to permit patients to remain in such facilities longer, if needed, during the COVID-19 public health emergency.
- CMS has posted a revised COVID-19-focused infection control survey tool for acute and continuing care.
- CMS has updated its list of hospitals authorized to participate in its Acute Hospital Care at Home program.
Food and Drug Administration
- The FDA posted an updated letter of authorization, health care provider fact sheet, and frequently asked questions regarding the number of Pfizer-BioNTech doses in a vial.
- The FDA published a new toolkit to help stakeholders communicate in English and Spanish about hand sanitizer safety and use during the COVID-19 pandemic. New materials include social media messages and graphics, consumer information, and health professional messages.
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
- The CDC’s Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices has updated its interim recommendations for the allocation of COVID-19 vaccines.
- The CDC has updated its web page on things health care professionals need to know about U.S. COVID-19 vaccination plans and updated its FAQ about COVID-19 vaccines.
- The CDC has updated its case on the importance of health care workers receiving COVID-19 vaccines and done the same for residents of long-term-care facilities.
- The CDC has updated its information about the different types of COVID-19 vaccines.
- The CDC has posted general information about the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine and updated its general information about the Pfizer BioNTech vaccine.
- The CDC’s Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices has posted its interim recommendation for the use of the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine.
- The CDC has updated its posted information about allergic reactions to COVID-19 vaccines.
- The CDC has updated its guidance on who should get vaccinated first when supplies of COVID-19 vaccines are limited.
- The CDC has updated its posted information about COVID-19 vaccination considerations for people with underlying medical conditions.
- The CDC has updated its FAQs on COVID-19 for clinical workers and its information for health care workers about COVID-19.
- The CDC has updated its information about emerging COVID-19 variants; posted another advisory about new COVID-19 variants; and updated its information about the implications of the emerging COVID-19 variant in the United Kingdom.
- The CDC has updated its guidance for COVID-19 point-of-care testing.
- The CDC has updated its COVID-19 information for pediatric health care providers.
- The CDC has updated its COVID-19 toolkit for health care providers.
- The CDC has updated its recommendations for optimizing the supply of personal protective equipment in health care facilities during the COVID-19 pandemic; for optimizing their supplies of N95 respirators; and for optimizing their supplies of disposable medical gloves.
- The CDC has updated its instructions for laboratories reporting COVID-19 data.
- The CDC has updated its interim guidelines for collecting, handling, and testing clinical specimens from persons with COVID-19.
- The CDC has updated its considerations for COVID-19 antigen testing in nursing homes.
Other CDC Activities
- In its weekly morbidity and mortality report the CDC has posted data on COVID-19 incidence by age group from March 1 through November 14 of 2020.
- The CDC has updated its considerations for retirement communities and independent living facilities and updated its guidance for shared and congregate settings.
Department of Labor
- The Department of Labor has issued new guidance to states on unemployment insurance programs based on the unemployment insurance provisions contained in the Continued Assistance for Unemployed Workers Act of 2020, which is part of the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2021. Go here to see the department’s announcement about this guidance and go here to see the guidance itself and related documents.
- The Department of Labor has issued guidance on the expiration of paid sick leave and expanded family medical leave for COVID-19. Go here to see the department’s announcement about the new guidance and go here for an FAQ on family and medical leave related to COVID-19.