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Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19) Update

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08/31/2021

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  • A bipartisan group of senators sent a letter to HHS Secretary Xavier Becerra urging HHS to distribute the remaining Provider Relief Fund (PRF) money.

White House and Federal Agencies

  • CMS announced it is increasing Medicare reimbursement rates for at-home COVID-19 vaccinations.
  • The U.S. Supreme Court overturned the Biden Administration’s targeted eviction ban.
    • States have not distributed billions of dollars in rental assistance grant funding that they received from Congress.
  • The Department of Education will investigate states that banned school mask mandates as possible civil rights violations of students with disabilities.
  • HHS selected contractors who will conduct audits of PRF awards. The audits are expected to begin after September 30th and will initially focus on entities that received over $750,000 in PRF payments.
  • The FCC distributed $42 million in funding to help compensate healthcare providers for costs related to adding capabilities for telehealth services.

Economy, Vaccine, Testing and Treatment

  • The CDC’s Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) endorsed the FDA’s decision to provide full approval for the Pfizer/BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine.
  • The FDA extended the shelf life for the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine from six to nine months.
  • A new study shows the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine is both safe and effective.
  • CDC Director Rochelle Walensky criticized schools that are not following CDC safety guidelines for in-person learning.
  • NIAID Director Dr. Anthony Fauci expressed support for vaccine mandates for all school children once the vaccine is approved for kids under the age of 12. 
  • The NIH began studying the effects of booster doses in people with autoimmune disease.
  • The FDA reauthorized Eli Lilly’s antibody therapy in certain states.
  • Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell said the Fed will move “deliberately” as it begins scaling back some of its economic stimulus policies later this year.
  • First time unemployment claims increased slightly last week.
  • The EU is suggesting that its member countries re-add travel restrictions for U.S. travelers.

 
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Updates