COVID-19 Update 6/12/2020

COVID-19 Update | June 12, 2020
Federal Agency News, Guidance, and Guidelines
Occupational Health
Clinical Care and Treatment
Testing and Cases
Rapid Response Teams
Additional Resources (CDC, Jun 10)
Communication Resources
Social Media Toolkit (CDC, Jun 11) 
SHEA Education and Events
SHEA Podcast: We’re All in this Together: COVID-19 Allies in Infection Prevention 

Episodes Available Now:
  • Dialysis in a Crisis with the American Society of Nephrology (ASN)
  • Anesthesiology During a Pandemic with the American Society of Anesthesiologists (ASA)
  • Knowledge Sharing with the Society for Hospital Medicine (SHM)
  • Collaborating with National Foundation for Infectious Diseases (NFID)
  • Partnering with Pharmacy with the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists (ASHP)
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
  • Staff Policies
  • Overuse and Misuse of Antibiotics During COVID-19
  • Antibody Testing
  • NHSN Response to COVID-19
  • Reopening Ambulatory Practices
  • A "Quick Implementation Guide" 7-worksheet Excel file (xls download) with self-populating worksheets to apply implementation concepts and approaches by SHEA members to individual circumstances.
  • List of guidelines and statements from other organizations for insight into stakeholders’ points-of-view. Not comprehensive; not vetted or endorsed by SHEA.  
SHEA Rapid Response Webinars 
  • Healthcare Facility Outbreak Preparedness
  • SHEA COVID-19 Town Hall 1-10
  • SHEA COVID-19 Town Hall, Round 11 | June 14, 2020 | 3:00 p.m. ET
Information for Patients, Visitors and the General Public
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
Respirators with Exhalation Valves“I am posting this as an information item about respirators with exhalation valves. I have seen people in public wearing N95s with exhalation valves (examples here) These exhalation valves release unfiltered air and therefore protect the wearer but potentially put others at risk.” ~Amy Beth Kressel, MD, MS, FIDSA, FSHEA
Recovered COVID patientsWhen are other institutions taking  COVID positive patients off transmission based precautions who have "recovered" from their COVID disease but still need a ventilator? 
~Gwen Rogers, DBA, RN, CIC, FAPIC
Positive pressure OR for COVID positive patients?: Our OR leadership is increasingly eyeing our negative pressure OR room (used approx. every 4-5 days for COVID-19 positive patient operative procedures) as under-utilized space as they attempt to restore normal operating volumes. Are any of your facilities performing surgeries on COVID-19 positive patients in standard positive pressure ORs and if so what are the methods you are using to mediate risks? ~Michelle Doll, MD, MPH
Federal Policy Updates
Senate HSGAC Examines Procurement and Distribution of COVID-19 Supplies
The Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs convened a hearing on Jun 9 to examine the federal government’s procurement and distribution of medical supplies during the COVID-19 pandemic.  Representatives from the Administration, including Assistant Secretary of Health Admiral Brett Giroir, Administrator of the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) Peter Gaynor, and Vice Director of Logistics Rear Admiral John Polowczyk testified about the efforts to acquire critical personal protective equipment (PPE) through Project Air Bridge, and the Strategic National Stockpile (SNS).
Members of the Committee questioned the witnesses on the needed amount of PPE, ways to improve the SNS, efforts to bring the medical supply chain to the United States, and COVID-19 diagnostic testing sites.
On a related note, Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY), along with Sens. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) and Richard Blumenthal (D-CT), formally requested the Pandemic Response Accountability Committee (PRAC)  to investigate Project Air Bridge, “focusing on the creation of the program by White House and agency officials and the involvement in the implementation of this program by outside officials and the success and cost-effectiveness of this program.” Project Air Bridge, as noted by FEMA, was created to accelerate the distribution of personal protective equipment and other supplies to facilities. The CARES Act established PRAC, which is composed of federal Offices of Inspector General, to conduct oversight of coronavirus relief funds.

Senate HELP Chairman Alexander Seeks Input on Public Health Preparedness Package; Due June 26
Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP) Committee Chairman Lamar Alexander (R-TN) released on June 9 a white paper, “Preparing for the Next Pandemic” – a starting point for a legislative package to bolster the federal government’s public health infrastructure and capacity.
Beginning on p. 23, the white paper discusses lessons learned from past federal government preparedness efforts, including legislation and funding, and offers initial recommendations for Congress to consider “this year” as it crafts public health preparedness legislation. These recommendations fall under the following issue areas:
  1. Tests, Treatments, and Vaccines – Accelerate Research and Development;
  2. Disease Surveillance – Expand Ability to Detect, Identify, Model, and Track Emerging Infectious Diseases;
  3. Stockpiles, Distribution, and Surges – Rebuild and Maintain Federal and State Stockpiles and Improve Medical Supply Surge Capacity and Distribution;
  4. Public Health Capabilities – Improve State and Local Capacity to Respond; and
  5. Who Is on the Flagpole? – Improve Coordination of Federal Agencies During a Public Health Emergency.
Chairman Alexander seeks feedback on the initial recommendations, as well as responses to a series of questions regarding each issue area, starting on p. 37. He emphasizes that the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic “makes it imperative that Congress act on needed changes this year in order to better prepare for the next pandemic.” Of note, Chairman Alexander is retiring this year.
Responses are due to PANDEMICPREPAREDNESS@HELP.SENATE.GOV by 5PM ET on June 26.
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