CHA Submits Hospital Surge Preparation Recommendations to State Leadership
The recent increases in COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations statewide mean hospitals must be ready for surges of patients in need of care during the fall and winter. In anticipation of COVID-19 patient surges, CHA submitted a list of hospitals’ most pressing needs to the California Health and Human Services Agency (CHHS) today. The recommendations identify flexibilities and resources hospitals need to meet the most significant demands they will face as there are surges — including patient transfers and discharges, staffing, testing, personal protective equipment (PPE), and alternate care sites. CHA is seeking to meet with state officials from CHHS to resolve these critical issues as quickly as possible.
CDC Updates Employee and Visitor Screening Guidance
On Nov. 4, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention issued updated infection control guidance for the COVID-19 pandemic. It provides additional options for screening employees and visitors for COVID-19 – including implementing a system for employees to take their temperature prior to arrival at the facility and report the absence of fever and other COVID-19 symptoms electronically. The California Department of Public Health (CDPH) has expressed to CHA that it has no concerns with the changes. The updated guidance also:
- Provides information on factors that could impact thermometer readings
- Provides resources for evaluating and managing ventilation systems in healthcare facilities
- Links to frequently asked questions about the use of PPE
HHS Announces Allocation Plans for Newly Approved Therapeutic Drug
The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) has announced its plans to allocate initial doses of Eli Lilly and Company’s investigational monoclonal antibody therapeutic, bamlanivimab. The drug received emergency use authorization from the Food and Drug Administration on Nov. 9 for the treatment of non-hospitalized patients with mild or moderate COVID-19. Having purchased 300,000 doses on Oct. 28, HHS will now allocate them to state and territorial health departments which, in turn, will determine which health care facilities receive the drug. The federal government can purchase up to 650,000 additional doses, if needed, through June 30, 2021, for distribution across the country. HHS has posted additional information about the distribution process and state-by-state allocation. California will receive approximately 4,000 doses statewide in the first allocation.
Operation Warp Speed Releases Draft Playbook for Monoclonal Antibody Treatments
In anticipation of the issuance of emergency use authorizations for monoclonal antibody therapeutic drugs developed to treat certain COVID-19 positive patients (see latest information on the Eli Lilly and Company’s therapeutic bamlanivimab above), Operation Warp Speed released an initial playbook to assist providers in planning. The playbook lays out important information for hospitals and health systems to consider and includes information on administering the drugs, the two available options, when a patient is considered a candidate, a site checklist, and shipping and distribution information.
Biden Announces COVID-19 Task Force
President-elect Joe Biden has announced a COVID-19 advisory board, underscoring that his administration’s priority will be controlling the COVID-19 pandemic. The 13-member task force, which includes three Californians, will advise the incoming Biden administration as it prepares to orchestrate a federal response to the COVID-19 pandemic. The task force members will be led by three physicians:
- David A. Kessler, professor of pediatrics at the University of California, San Francisco, and former Food & Drug Administration commissioner, who served under presidents George H.W. Bush and Bill Clinton
- Vivek Murthy, surgeon general in the Obama administration
- Marcella Nunez-Smith, professor of medicine at Yale University, who focuses on equity in health care for disadvantaged populations
Missing an Issue of Coronavirus Response?
Some Coronavirus Response recipients were inadvertently removed from the distribution of the Oct. 20, Oct. 27, and Nov. 3 issues. CHA apologizes for any inconvenience; all previous issues can viewed here.
Next CDPH Call for Health Care Facilities: Nov. 17, 8-9 a.m. (PT)
Dial: (844) 721-7239
Summary of Nov. 3 CDPH Call
CDPH has provided a summary of its recent weekly call with health care facilities.
Upcoming CMS Calls
The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services will host two calls next week, one for hospitals and health systems and one for nursing homes. Call details are as follows:
Hospitals and Health Systems: Nov. 17 at 2 p.m. (PT)
Dial: (833) 614-0820
Nursing Homes: Nov. 18 at 1:30 p.m. (PT)
Dial: (833) 614-0820