Coronavirus Update for Thursday, October 22

The following is the latest COVID-19 information from the federal government as of 2:30 p.m. on Thursday, October 22.

Provider Relief Fund

  • HHS has announced that it is updating its most recent Provider Relief Fund reporting instructions to broaden how past fund recipients may use those funds.  See that announcement here.  In September HHS announced changes in instructions that had originally been issued in June, but with this announcement it appears the agency is restoring its June instructions.  In making this decision, HHS wrote that

As providers, provider organizations, and members of Congress familiarized themselves with the reporting requirements, HHS received feedback from many voicing concerns regarding this approach to permissible uses of PRF [Provider Relief Fund] money. In response to concerns raised, HHS is amending the reporting instructions to increase flexibility around how providers can apply PRF money toward lost revenues attributable to coronavirus.

Go here for HHS’s policy memorandum on its reporting requirements decision and go here to see the amended reporting requirements.

 

Department of Health and Human Services

 

Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services

 

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

The CDC has updated its definition of what constitutes “close contact” for contract tracing purposes.  It now defines “close contact” as “Someone who was within 6 feet of an infected person for a cumulative total of 15 minutes or more over a 24-hour period starting from 2 days before illness onset (or, for asymptomatic patients, 2 days prior to test specimen collection) until the time the patient is isolated.”  See the updated guidance here, including a more detailed explanation of what constitutes “close contact.”

Food and Drug Administration

The FDA has issued emergency use authorization for a commercial product to be used to decontaminate compatible N95 respirators for single-user reuse by health care personnel when there are insufficient supplies of face-filtering respirators.

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