COVID-19 Update | May 8, 2020
There will be no SHEA COVID-19 Town Hall this weekend. Have a great Mother’s Day!
SHEA Coronavirus News
COVID-19 by the Week Survey
We are tracking SHEA members' experiences week-by-week. Responses are anonymous for a 4-question survey. The first 2 questions are demographic, and the second two are about current status and primary concerns. We are comparing week-to-week, so please respond to each survey. We will summarize the findings after the pandemic decelerates. 
This week (May 3-9):
Results, week of April 26:
  • Lowest availability at facilities (1=crisis-level; 5=sustainable): PPE, not including respirators (3.25), respirators (3.30) testing or test components (3.52)
  • Highest availability at facilities (5=sustainable; 1=crisis-level): beds (4.43), ventilators (4.26), frontline workforce (FTE and part-time) (4.17)
  • Most common "top 3 concerns": PPE supply (37.5%), non-COVID care (33.3%), reliability of test results (25.0%)
  • Most common facility types: acute care hospital (58.3%); academic medical center (33.3%), ambulatory care, community-based, part of a health system, pediatric (each 20.8%)
  • 24 responses from CA, FL, IN, KY, MA (2), MS, MT, NC, NE, NJ (3), NY (3), OH, OR, PA (2), TN (2), VA, and United Arab Emirates (1)
REMINDER: CDC recently rolled out the NHSN COVID-19 reporting module for acute care facilities and long-term care facilities. The data collected through these modules are used by FEMA and other federal and state agency officials to identify hot spots and PPE shortages for targeted assistance. All healthcare facilities are encouraged to report data regularly through these modules and to reach out to state public health departments or CDC for technical assistance where needed.
Federal Agency News, Guidance, and Guidelines
Infection Prevention and Control


Occupational Health

Special Settings and Populations

Testing and Cases
Incident Management

Communication Resources
Tools and Resources
SHEA Rapid Response Podcast: COVID-19 Update: What We Know Now 
Podcast episodes will launch every Thursday. Each week's episode will include a summary of important news items, medical literature and guidelines, and a discussion around the latest and most important questions surrounding the pandemic. 
Episodes Available Now: 
  • COVID-19 Frequently Asked Questions 
  • Environment of Care & PPE
  • Surge Planning & Testing
  • Diagnostic Testing, Part 1
  • PPE: Conservation & Shortages
  • Diagnostic Testing, Part 2
  • Involving Antimicrobial Stewardship Programs
  • Advocacy around COVID-19
  • PPE: Getting Resourceful with No Resources
  • Taking Care of Yourself
  • Tracing Contacts
  • Answers to Town Hall Questions
SHEA Rapid Response Webinars 
  • Healthcare Facility Outbreak Preparedness
  • SHEA COVID-19 Town Hall - March 29
  • SHEA COVID-19 Town Hall, Round 2 - April 5
  • SHEA COVID-19 Town Hall, Round 3 - April 11
  • SHEA COVID-19 Town Hall, Round 4 - April 19
  • SHEA COVID-19 Town Hall, Round 5 - April 26
  • SHEA COVID-19 Town Hall, Round 6 - May 3
Research and Resources Development Funding Opportunities
PCORI announced a funding opportunity for high-impact, comparative clinical effectiveness research on COVID-19 (Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Initiative, May 5)
PCORI is issuing a new research funding announcement with an accelerated timeline to support innovative, high-impact studies. This funding announcement has three targeted priority areas: adaptations to healthcare delivery, impact of COVID-19 on vulnerable populations, impact of COVID-19 on healthcare workforce well-being, management, and training. Applications are due May 26, 2020, by 5:00 p.m. ET.
COVID-19 Funding Available to Minority, Rural and Socially Vulnerable Communities for Linkages to Services, Information and Education (HHS, May 1)
The HHS Office of Minority Health announced a competitive funding opportunity for up to $40 million. The successful applicant will develop and coordinate a network of national, state, territorial, tribal, and local organizations to deliver COVID-19-related information to racial and ethnic minorities as well as rural and socially vulnerable communities. Applications are due by May 11, 2020.
HHS Awards $20 Million to Combat COVID-19 Pandemic through Telehealth (HHS, Apr. 30)
Through HRSA, HHS awarded $20 million appropriated under the CARES Act to increase telehealth access and infrastructure for the COVID-19 response. HRSA’s Maternal and Child Health Bureau (MCHB) awarded $15 million and its Federal Office of Rural Health Policy (FORHP) awarded $5 million.
HHS Announces CARES Act Funding Distribution to States and Localities in Support of COVID-19 Response (CDC, Apr. 23)
CDC will award $631 million in supplemental funding to 64 jurisdictions to support the COVID-19 response through the existing Epidemiology and Laboratory Capacity for Prevention and Control of Emerging Infectious Diseases (ELC) cooperative agreement.
Information for Patients, Visitors and the General Public
Event Announcements
COVID-19: Lessons from the Front Lines Calls
CMS, May 8, 12:30 pm – 2:00 pm ET
REGISTER or, call 877-251-0301; Access Code: 9146779
Trade Press & Journal Articles
ICHE Coronavirus and COVID-19 Article Collection 
The editors of ICHE have created a page for on the ICHE web site for COVID-19 related articles, commentaries, and letters to the editor. All COVID-19 manuscripts in their accepted form are freely available here. Check back frequently for updates.
News Highlights
Social Media
From the MySHEA Open Forum Discussion (Log In Required)
Ramifications of recommendation of N95s “Given the ongoing discussions regarding when to recommend N95s in the context of care for the patient whose COVID status is unknown (an issue we are also grappling with), would like to pose the following question to the forum: Is there an IPC paradigm for N95s in the absence of a simultaneous requirement for negative pressure?” ~Mitchell J. Schwaber, MD, MSc, Director, National Center for Infection Control, Israel Ministry of Health
Based on the IDSA PPE guidelines, could we use the isolation mask/procedure mask instead of a surgical mask?  “What is the difference between a surgical mask and a procedure mask?” 
~Nicolas Abella DNSc, MBA, RN, Corporate Director, Community Health Systems
Federal Policy Updates
Senate FY 2021 Appropriations Work Delayed
Appropriations leaders are delaying the start of their fiscal year (FY) 2021 funding work amid the uncertainty surrounding the COVID-19 outbreak. Senate Appropriations Chairman Richard Shelby (R-AL) stated that he expects to hold markups ahead of the Jul. 4 district work period. In the meantime, the Senate will continue to focus on the COVID-19 response and any related funding needs or Congressional authority.
House Establishes New Select Committee on the Coronavirus Crisis 
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi announced the appoints of several members of the House to serve on a new bipartisan House Select Committee on the Coronavirus Crisis, which will conduct oversight of the federal response to the coronavirus crisis.
House E&C Raises Concerns Over Lacking Contract Tracing Strategy 
House Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman Frank Pallone, Jr. (D-NJ), Health Subcommittee Chairwoman Anna Eshoo (D-CA) and Oversight and Investigations Chairwoman Diana DeGette (D-CO) sent a letter to Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Alex Azar, urging the Department to develop a national COVID-19 contact tracing strategy.
House Investigation Leads to FDA Antibody Test Policy Changes
The FDA revised its March 16 policy on antibody tests by requiring manufacturers to apply for Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) within 10 days of the test being on the market. The FDA’s decision to revise its serology testing policy appears to be in response to an investigation into the agency’s policies initiated by the House Oversight Subcommittee on Economic and Consumer Policy Chairman Raja Krishnamoorthi (D-IL).
U.S. Public Health Data and Reporting – CRS Report on COVID-19
The Congressional Research Service (CRS) published a brief report on current COVID-19 public health surveillance systems, recent legislative and executive actions to address public health reporting, and policy consideration to help support the nation's response as well as local-level public health decision-making.
COVID-19 Testing: Key Issues – CRS Report on COVID-19
The Congressional Research Service (CRS) published a brief analysis of the opportunities and challenges with COVID-19 testing strategy.
HIPAA Privacy Rule – COVID-19 Guidance
The HHS Office for Civil Rights (OCR) issued additional guidance reminding covered health care providers that the HIPAA Privacy Rule requires authorization be obtained from patients before media and film crews are granted access to facilities where patients’ protected health information (PHI) will be accessible.
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