5/20/22 – Weekly Covid-19 Update

CHAP’s COVID-19 Weekly Update
In this “one-stop-shop” update, CHAP will provide a roundup of important COVID-19 information from various federal sources.

All health care providers should be monitoring COVID-19 incidence rates in their state/county on an ongoing basis.  The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention CDC provides weekly data about case rates, deaths, testing, and vaccine administration on their COVID tracker webpage.


CDC Data

Quote from CDC’s Dr. Walensky at a White House briefing on 5/18/22
“Over the past 5 weeks, we’ve seen a steady increase in COVID-19 cases, as Dr. Jha mentioned.  While cases remain much lower than during the Omicron surge this past winter, the current seven-day daily average of cases is now at about 94,000 cases per day, which is an increase nationally about 26 percent over the previous week and a threefold increase over the last month.

Similarly, hospital admissions are also increasing, but remain much lower than they were during the Omicron surge.  The seven-day average of hospital admissions now is about 3,000 per day, and that’s an increase of about 19 percent over the previous week.  And while deaths do remain low, we are still seeing a tragic seven-day average of daily deaths at about 275 per day.”


FDA Authorizes First COVID-19 Test Available without a Prescription That Also Detects Flu and RSV (5/16/22)
The FDA authorized the Labcorp Seasonal Respiratory Virus RT-PCR DTC Test for use without a prescription by individuals with symptoms of respiratory viral infection consistent with COVID-19. This product is the first direct-to-consumer (non-prescription) multi-analyte COVID-19 test authorized by FDA and allows an individual to self-collect a nasal swab sample at home and then send that sample to Labcorp for testing. The test can identify and differentiate multiple respiratory viruses at the same time, detecting influenza A and B, commonly known as the flu, respiratory syncytial virus, commonly known as RSV, along with SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19. Results are delivered through an online portal, with follow-up from a health care provider for positive or invalid test results.


FDA Expands Eligibility for Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 Vaccine Booster Dose to Children 5 through 11 Years (5/17/22)
The FDA amended the emergency use authorization (EUA) for the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 Vaccine, authorizing the use of a single booster dose for administration to individuals 5 through 11 years of age at least five months after completion of a primary series with the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 Vaccine.

This action expands the use of a single booster dose of the vaccine for administration to individuals 5 through 11 years age at least five months after completion of a primary series of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 Vaccine. The FDA has authorized the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 Vaccine for use in individuals 5 years of age and older and has approved Comirnaty (COVID-19 Vaccine, mRNA) for use in individuals 16 years of age and older.


Statement from HHS Secretary Xavier Becerra on the One Million American Lives Lost to COVID-19 (5/12/22)
We mark a heartbreaking moment in this pandemic: one million American lives have been lost to COVID-19.  U.S. Health and Human Services Secretary Xavier Becerra issued the following statement:

“The magnitude of this loss is felt every day by families missing a parent or grandparent, children who have become orphans, and everyone who has seen a loved one taken too soon — leaving them without a chance to say goodbye. This pandemic left an irreplaceable hole in our country, and underserved communities, communities of color, and frontline workers have frequently carried the heaviest burden, underscoring the inequities that we must address as we move forward.


U.S. FACT SHEET: The 2nd Global COVID-⁠19 Summit (5/12/22)
The United States issued a call to redouble global efforts to control the COVID-19 pandemic and prepare for future health emergencies.  Vice President Harris highlighted U.S. leadership and called on Congress to continue to make Americans and the world safer by promptly providing the $22.5 billion in supplemental funding for responding to COVID-19 that the Administration requested on March 2, 2022, including $5 billion to support the global effort to stop the spread of potential new variants, get shots into arms, expand access to tests and treatments, and save lives here at home and abroad.  The U.S. announced new commitments to the global COVID-19 response and pandemic preparedness, building on substantial U.S. commitments made to date and during the last global COVID-19 Summit.


New, Issue 15 of the ASPR TRACIE Exchange (5/17/22)
This morning, ASPR TRACIE released our 15th issue of The Exchange. This issue highlights articles on ethics in healthcare during disasters, crisis standards of care, and patient load-balancing.  While ethical dilemmas existed in healthcare prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, this crisis presented healthcare workers with unprecedented challenges during patient surges related to adequate supply and ensuring equitable access to treatment and vaccines. This issue of The Exchange includes the following articles: