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Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19) Update

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11/06/2020

HBMA COVID-19 Federal Response Update

Congress and 2020 Election Results

  • As of this afternoon, we do not know the final results of the 2020 election. However, we know enough that we can safely expect that the House of Representatives will remain controlled by Democrats.
  • Control of the Senate is not clear yet. Two Senate races in Georgia are expected to go to a runoff election on January 5th. Republicans need to win at least one of the two seats to maintain control of the Senate. If they lose both, each party will control 50 seats. The Vice President would serve as a tie-breaking vote.
    • At this point, former Vice President Joe Biden (D) is expected to win the presidential election. His running mate, Senator Kamala Harris (D-CA) would be that tie-breaking vote. 
    • Heading into the election, bipartisan negotiations on a new COVID-19 relief bill failed to make significant progress while each party waited to see if the election results would deal them a better hand in 2021. The election results show that neither party will significantly improve their leverage which means neither party has an incentive to wait until 2021. Congressional leaders are beginning to reiterate their desire to pass a new relief bill before the end of the year.

White House and Federal Agencies

  • NIH Director Dr. Francis Collins released a blogpost on a new study, published in Nature Medicine, where models predict that if 95 percent of people in the U.S. began wearing masks in public right now, the death toll would drop by March from the projected 510,000 to about 380,000.

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Updates

  • CDC has updated its list of potential treatments for severe illness of COVID-19.
  • CDC updated information on the current clinical management of COVID-19 which includes infection prevention and control measures and supportive care, including supplemental oxygen and mechanical ventilator support when indicated. 
  • CDC updated information on the use of masks to help slow the spread of COVID-19.
  • CDC updated interim guidelines for collecting, handling, and testing clinical specimens from persons for COVID-19 and clarification on language for the collection of anterior nasal specimens.
  • CDC updated information on what you need to know about the COVID-19 pandemic and how you can protect yourself and your family and how you can protect yourself and others from spreading COVID-19.
  • CDC updated information on the impact of COVID-19 during pregnancy to protect women and their babies. Based on what the CDC knows at this time, pregnant people are at an increased risk for severe illness from COVID-19 compared to non-pregnant people. Additionally, pregnant people with COVID-19 might be at increased risk for other adverse outcomes, such as preterm birth.
  • CDC updated information on Text Illness Monitoring (TIM), a text messaging platform that helps monitor symptoms during an infectious disease outbreak. TIM is available at no cost and, at this time, is primarily intended for public health organizations at the federal, state, tribal, local, and territorial levels to assist with COVID-19 response activities.
  • This guidance is for individuals and families as they work with funeral directors, community and religious leaders, and others to plan and hold funeral services and visitations during the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • This guidance is for individuals and families as they work with funeral directors, community and religious leaders, and others to plan and hold funeral services and visitations during the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • CDC updated information on things to know about the COVID-19 pandemic. The more steps you and your family can take to prevent the spread of COVID-19, the safer you will be.
  • CDC updated communication resources on COVID-19 on many different topics.
  • CDC updated information on Text Illness Monitoring (TIM), a text messaging platform that helps monitor symptoms during an infectious disease outbreak. TIM is available at no cost and, at this time, is primarily intended for public health organizations at the federal, state, tribal, local, and territorial levels to assist with COVID-19 response activities.

Economy, Vaccine, Testing and Treatment

  • The U.S. has reached over 100,000 daily cases for the first time.
  • CDC released a summary of the benefits of COVID-19 vaccination based on what the CDC currently knows. CDC will continue to update this page as more data become available.
  • CDC released information to bust myths and misconceptions about COVID-19 vaccination.
  • CDC updated FAQs about the COVID-19 vaccination. Although CDC does not have a role in developing COVID-19 vaccines, CDC has been working closely with health departments and partners to develop vaccination plans for when a vaccine is available. CDC is working with partners at all levels, including healthcare associations, on flexible COVID-19 vaccination programs that can accommodate different vaccines and scenarios.
  • FDA is alerting clinical laboratory staff and health care providers that false positive results can occur with antigen tests, including when users do not follow the instructions for use of antigen tests for the rapid detection of SARS-CoV-2.
  • Pfizer will distribute its COVID-19 vaccine (if/when it is approved by the FDA) using its own distribution network instead of the government’s vaccine distribution contractor.