COVID-19 Update | November 21, 2020
Important Highlights
Antibody Therapy under New EUA - November 21 COVID-19 Real Time Learning Network 
This week’s Real Time Learning Network webinar will focus on antibody therapy under new emergency use authorization (EUA). Speakers include Dr. John Redd of ASPR and Dr. Janet Woodcock of FDA. Interested parties should register here. The COVID-19 Real Time Learning Network is a CDC-funded partnership with the Infectious Diseases Society of America (IDSA)  and support from SHEA and other societies to deliver rapid and up-to-date curated literature and clinical guidance from various subspecialties to frontline healthcare providers.
NIOSH Approves First Elastomeric Half Mask Respirator Without an Exhalation Valve 
NIOSH announced on November 16 the approval of the first elastomeric half mask respirator (EHMR) without an exhalation valve. This respirator is approved for use with either P95 or P100 particulate filters (NIOSH approval numbers: TC-84A-9260, TC-84A-9261, TC-84A-9256, TC-84A-9257). This EHMR can be used for both personal protection and source control. Exhalation is accomplished through the particulate filters meeting all NIOSH requirements, thereby allowing it to also serve as a means of source control since it will maintain the high level of filtration upon exhalation. This EHMR can be cleaned and disinfected as part of a respiratory protection program’s standard procedures. The particulate filters are available with an integrated splash guard to improve the ease of completing a user seal check, to help protect from liquids, and to aid in wiping down the filter housing with disinfectant. More information on NIOSH-approved respirators, including the first EHMR without an exhalation value, is available on the NIOSH Certified Equipment List. Respirators are an important resource in reducing the transmission of SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19. When workers wear respirators to protect themselves against workplace hazards, they also need to maintain source control to protect others in case they are themselves sick with COVID-19. Concerns were raised that respirators with exhalation valves may allow unfiltered exhaled air to escape into the environment, therefore not offering source control. NIOSH is working to identify solutions to address exhalation valve concerns in both filtering facepiece respirators and EHMR. Several research studies are underway on this issue. In parallel with the NIOSH research on exhalation valves, manufacturers have been conducting research and development to produce an elastomeric respirator that addresses the exhalation valve concerns.
SHEA Coronavirus News
SHEA Outreach to the New Biden Administration
President-elect Joe Biden has announced his transition team which includes an array of experts in healthcare and global health security. SHEA is in the process of developing a package of recommendations and expert guidance for delivery to the transition team which we anticipate will be delivered shortly. The transition package will be made available on the SHEA website.
SHEA Vaccine Planning and Priorities Statement
A succinct SHEA COVID-19 vaccine planning statement reviewed by ACIP and NHSN subject matter experts and approved by the SHEA Board guides facilities in how to work with their public health offices to plan for anticipated COVID-19 vaccine administration to healthcare personnel (HCP), including how to prioritize vaccine access. The statement provides necessary background followed by recommendations on: 
  • Policies for HCP vaccination (FDA EUA vs. full licensure) 
  • Training for staff and steps of administration 
  • Safety monitoring 
  • Prioritization, broken into Phase 1a and Phase 1b, and how to ensure healthcare equity in planning and implementation 
  • Managing vaccine hesitancy  
  • Maintaining infection prevention precautions despite vaccination status  
For questions or feedback, please email
Technical Guidance, Standards and Resources
Infection Prevention and Control
Occupational Health 
*UPDATE* Public Health Guidance for Community-Related Exposure (CDC, Nov. 16)  
Updated language to clarify what precautions exposed healthcare personnel should take when in the community setting.
Clinical Care and Vaccines
Special Settings and Populations

Suspected Reinfection

Testing and Cases 
Late Sequelae of COVID-19 (CDC, Nov. 13)
Research and Resources Development Funding Opportunities
Information for Patients, Visitors, and the General Public
Event Announcements
Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) November Meeting (CDC)
Mon., Nov. 23, 12-5pm EDT
This month’s meeting will discuss the COVID-19 vaccines.
Federal Policy Updates
GAO Recommends HHS Clarify Plans for Dealing with Medical Supply Chain Challenges
Health and Human Services (HHS) is leading an effort to address U.S. medical supply chain issues related to the pandemic. However, a report published November 19 by the Government Accountability Office (GAO) says the agency hasn't clarified its plans and provided two recommendations in its report:

1) The HHS Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response (ASPR) should identify how the Defense Production Act and similar actions will be used to increase domestic production of medical supplies going forward; 
2) OMB should direct the Office of Federal Procurement Policy to develop appropriate agency reporting guidance to provide greater transparency on the use of DPA Title I authorities for COVID purposes.
SHEA Education and Events
Implementation of Electronic Case Reporting (eCR) for COVID-19
Electronic case reporting (eCR) is a key component of the data strategy for COVID-19 as well as routine disease reporting and outbreak management. eCR can eliminate manual reporting and decrease the burden on healthcare providers, allowing them to spend more time on patient care and other critical priorities. When COVID-19 presented, eCR was just being rolled out by the Council of State and Territorial Epidemiologists (CSTE), the American Public Health Laboratories (APHL), and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), and was in operation in a limited number of pilot sites. The eCR team developed a strategy, eCR Now, for rapid deployment to quickly meet COVID-19 reporting needs in the short term and to prepare participants for full electronic case reporting in real time.
Since COVID-19 reporting began, eCR Now has onboarded more than 6,100 clinical care facilities and has connected all state public health agencies to receive electronic case reports. In this webinar, we will discuss the value of making case reporting electronic, the eCR Now strategy for rapidly onboarding health systems, the eCR Now FHIR App for providing eCR capabilities to EHRs that otherwise do not have it, and the policy framework for operating eCR.

December 2, 2020 at 1:00 p.m. EST
Register here to attend live and ask your questions. A recording will be made post-event.
SHEA Podcast: We’re All in this Together: COVID-19 Allies in Infection Prevention
This series focuses on the collaborative efforts and opportunities for different disciplines to address and confront the COVID-19 pandemic. Each week's episode will include discussion around what different organizations are doing to address COVID-19, what have been the biggest challenges, what changes have been made, and what opportunities there are to work together to handle the pandemic. Access the full podcast series on LearningCE or tune in to listen on SoundCloud.
SHEA Rapid Response Podcast: COVID-19 Update: What We Know Now
This series highlights changes in the COVID-19 outbreak and updates in the medical literature. Each week's episode will include a summary of important news, a brief summary of medical literature and guidelines on infection prevention that have been published related to COVID-19, and discussion around the latest and most important questions surrounding the outbreak. Access the full podcast series on LearningCE.   
Tune in to the latest episodes:
  • Implementation
  • Nursing Homes and Long-Term Care
    • Forms, notifications, and signage
    • Tools and templates for facilities and NIH collaboratives
  • Consulting during COVID-19 
SHEA Rapid Response Webinars 
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