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COVID-19 Update
June 12, 2020

IowaBio wants to provide our members useful information during the COVID-19 pandemic. This newsletter compiles information on state, federal and industry action to combat the virus and its impacts.

If your company is helping respond to COVID-19, IowaBio wants to know about it. Please, send any information about what your biotechnology company or organization is doing to help, to Jessica Hyland at Jessica@iowabio.org.

If IowaBio can assist you in getting information out, connecting with public officials, or support your company in another way, please do not hesitate to reach out.

Past IowaBio COVID-19 Update newsletters are now available at www.iowabio.org/COVID19 and can be found under the Industry News tab on the IowaBio website.
 
Iowa Update
 
Currently, IDPH has reported on the state’s coronavirus dashboard, 23,125 Iowans have tested positive, up 392 from our update yesterday morning, with a total of 21,203 tested.  3 more deaths were reported since our update yesterday, bringing the total to 641 deaths.  Now 14,046 Iowans have recovered. The latest on hospitalizations, including how many patients have been admitted in the last 24 hours can be found here.
 
Federal Actions
  • FDA issued an FDA Voices, titled Rare Disease Therapy Development and Access Remain Top FDA Priorities During COVID-19, which explains that the FDA’s work to advance treatments for rare diseases and help ensure continuity of care for patients with those diseases continues to be a top priority during the COVID-19 public health emergency.
  • The CDC continues to update its dashboard with new guidance and details. Today, the agency posted updated guidance for pets and other animals, travel recommendations by country, and staffing resources for strengthening the public health workforce. 
  • The FDA posted FAQs to address questions related to the design, evaluation, labeling, and marketing of hospital beds, stretchers, and mattresses during the COVID-19 public health emergency.
  • Education Sec. Betsy DeVos issued an emergency rule barring colleges from granting COVID-19 relief funds to foreign and undocumented students, including tens of thousands protected under DACA. Under the emergency CARES legislation, colleges were directed to use half of the roughly $12.6 billion they received to fund emergency grants for students affected by campus closures to pay for expenses like food, housing, child care, and technology. Sec. DeVos says those funds can only be used for students who would normally qualify for federal student aid funds. 
  • Agriculture Sec. Sonny Perdue announced a waiver that allows local partners, who have been working overtime serving meals to kids during the health crisis, the ability to continue serving free meals to all children – regardless of where they live – for the remainder of the summer.
  • The White House notified staff today that they could expect to be making a gradual return to campus soon. 
  • We are now looking ahead to COVID-19 hearings slated to place in Congress next week:
    • Monday (6/15) 12 PM House Education and Labor, "Budget Cuts and Lost Learning: Assessing the Impact of COVID-19 on Public Education."
    • Monday (6/15) 12 PM House Intelligence, "Impact of COVID-19 on Sub-Saharan Africa."
    • Tuesday (6/16) 10 AM Senate Energy and Natural Resources, "Hearings to examine the impacts of COVID-19 on the energy industry."
    • Tuesday (6/16) 12 PM House Financial Services, "Cybercriminals and Fraudsters: How Bad Actors Are Exploiting the Financial System During the COVID-19 Pandemic."
    • Tuesday (6/16) 12 PM House Energy and Commerce, “Reviving our Economy: COVID-19’s Impact on the Energy Sector.”
    • Wednesday (6/17) 10 AM Senate HELP, "Hearings to examine telehealth, focusing on lessons learned from the COVID-19 pandemic."
    • Wednesday (6/17) 11:30 AM House Energy and Commerce, "Health Care Inequality: Confronting Racial and Ethnic Disparities in COVID-19 and the Health Care System."
    • Thursday (6/18) 4 PM House Homeland Security, "Climbing Again: Stakeholder Views on Resuming Air Travel in the COVID-19 Era.”
Updates from the States
  • Out of the cases under investigation detected by U.S. surveillance, there are 1,994,283 total cases and 112,967 deaths The CDC data closes out the day before reporting. It is now being reported that there are more than 2 million cases in the U.S. 
  • Maine Gov. Janet Mills (D) extended the State of Civil Emergency for 30 days through July 10th.
  • Gov. David Ige (D) approved a request from Mayor Derek S.K. Kawakami of Kauaʻi county to re-open more businesses, operations, or activities under Hawaii public safety guidelines effective June 16th.
  • Gov. Ige also signed a proclamation that extends the COVID-19 emergency period through July 31st. The emergency proclamation lifts the quarantine requirement for inter-island travelers effective on June 16th. However, it also leaves in place the quarantine requirement for out-of-state travelers.
  • Minnesota Gov. Tim Walz (D) announced that he has extended the COVID-19 peacetime emergency by 30 days to ensure the state can continue to quickly and effectively respond to the pandemic.
  • Gov. Steve Sisolak (D) and the Nevada Response Center, in coordination with the Local Empowerment Advisory Panel (LEAP), released guidance for contactless outdoor youth sports practices during phase two of the Nevada United: Roadmap to Recovery Plan.
  • Gov. Brad Little (R) announced Idaho narrowly met criteria to enter the final stage of the Idaho Rebounds plan to safely reopen the economy in stages.
  • Pending expiration of phase one on June 15th, Gov. Mike Parson (R) announced today that Missouri will fully reopen and enter phase two of its “Show Me Strong” recover plan on June 16th.
  • Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) and Education Commissioner Richard Corcoran announced on Thursday a plan to reopen the state’s schools in the fall.
  • Gov. Larry Hogan (R) announced additional safe and phased reopenings through stage two of the ‘Maryland Strong: Roadmap to Recovery' to include indoor dining and outdoor amusements.
  • Gov. Jim Justice (R) and the West Virginia Department of Health and Human Resources unveiled a multi-phased plan to resume visitation at West Virginia’s nursing homes, with limitations, beginning as early as June 17th.
  • Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds (R) signed a new proclamation continuing the Public Health Disaster Emergency while continuing to ease restrictions on businesses and extends other public measures until June 25th.
  • Gov. Brian Kemp (R) of Georgia signed an EO lifting the limit on the number of people who can sit together in restaurants and decreeing that servers do not have to wear masks except when interacting with patrons. The order, which goes into effect June 16th, also says bars can now hold up to 50 people, or 35 percent of total listed fire capacity, and removes the limit on the number of people who can sit together at indoor movie theaters.
  • Nashville city officials announced today that they will be delaying the next phase of the city's reopening plan following an increase in new virus cases.
  • Useful state data:
    • The NYT is tracking which states are reopening and which are still shut down.
    • These charts show cumulative coronavirus cases and deaths for metropolitan areas over time.
    • Use Johns Hopkins University’s COVID-19 U.S. map as a resource for media, policymakers, and communities to view a collection of critical public health data in one online destination and better understand and track the COVID-19 pandemic in populations both large and small across the country.
    • NASHP has developed a COVID-19 State Action Center which serves as a state-level policy dashboard. Governing is also keeping a running tally of coronavirus news and impacts at the intersection of the health and economic crises in the states and localities.
    • This site from the Kaiser Family Foundation provides state-level information on cases/deaths, social distancing measures, health policy actions, and more.
    • This resource from Bloomberg Law is a database of State Quarantine and Public Health Laws related to the COVID-19 response.
    • This series of maps shows how states are responding to COVID-19, and this tracker, created and maintained by MultiState Associates, has an up-to-date list of executive orders and various travel restrictions.
    • Finally, this site offers COVID-19 projections assuming full social distancing and can be broken down by state.
International Affairs
  • Brazil surpassed 800,000 total confirmed COVID-19 cases today. The death toll is now over 40,000. 
  • Prosecutors in Bergamo, Italy, are planning to question Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte tomorrow as part of an inquiry into how COVID-19 was able to cut such a devastating path through the northern province.
  • Italy is easing its lockdown measures to allow professional sporting events, such as the Coppa Italia football match, to resume behind closed doors starting Friday. Other establishments can also reopen starting June 25th, including summer camps, kindergartens, betting rooms, and bingo halls.
  • The number of cases of COVID-19 in Africa has doubled in the last 18 days. The total is now over 200,000, though it took nearly 100 days to reach 100,000 cases. While the numbers may have risen so significantly in part because of increased testing, the WHO said today that more than half of the 54 countries on the continent were experiencing community transmission. Ten countries were driving the rise in numbers and accounted for nearly 80 percent of all cases, and South Africa has a quarter of the total cases.
  • Concerned about the economic effect on tourism and universities, the E.U. is recommending that all member countries open their borders to one another by Monday. The European Commission, the executive branch of the bloc, is recommending a gradual opening to outsiders starting in July.
  • Local authorities in Beijing confirmed what appeared to be the first locally transmitted case in weeks. The patient, a 52-year-old man, said he had not left the city for the last two weeks and had no contact with people from outside the city.
  • Global Cases:  7,540,679        Total Deaths:  421,948
Lifestyle, Science, and Economy
  • U.S. stocks fell sharply today after investors were reportedly concerned about the rising number of COVID-19 cases across the country. It was the worst day for the U.S. market since March. The Dow closed 1,862 points, or 6.9 percent, lower, and the S&P 500 ended down by 5.9 percent. 
  • Moderna confirmed it expects to begin a phase three study of its COVID-19 vaccine candidate in July. The final phase of the placebo-controlled study will include 30,000 subjects in the U.S.
  • Regeneron Pharmaceuticals Inc said today it has begun human testing of its experimental antibody cocktail as a treatment for COVID-19. The trial has an “adaptive” design and could quickly move from dozens of patients to eventually include thousands, Chief Scientific Officer George Yancopoulos told Reuters.
  • According to a study published by a team of researchers in Texas and California, wearing a mask is the most effective way to stop person-to person spread of airborne spread of COVID-19. The researchers, led by Renyi Zhang from the department of Atmospheric Sciences at Texas A&M University, compared COVID-19 infection rate trends in Italy and New York both before and after face masks were made mandatory. Both locations started to see infection rates flatten only after mandatory face masks measures were put in place.
  • Two new studies have found that people in the U.S. and Europe are sleeping more because of the pandemic. One study found students were staying up later and sleeping longer. Another found some Europeans were staying in bed about a quarter of an hour longer, on average, since the pandemic.
  • A young woman whose lungs were destroyed by the virus received the first COVID-19-related double lung transplant at Northwestern Memorial Hospital in Chicago. 
  • Professional golf returned from a 90-day hiatus on Thursday, when the PGA Tour’s Charles Schwab Challenge teed off in Fort Worth without fans present. 
  • Major League Soccer announced its return to competition by unveiling a World Cup-style tournament without spectators in greater Orlando, starting July 8th.
  • The WHO keeps a running list of COVID-19 vaccine candidates, which you can view here. They are now reporting 133 potential vaccines, 10 of which are in clinical trials in the U.S., U.K., and China. STAT News also has a resource tracking COVID-19 drugs and vaccines
  • Continue to look at the NIH Office of Portfolio Analysis’s (OPA) expert-curated portfolio of COVID-19 publications and preprints. The portfolio includes peer-reviewed articles from PubMed and preprints from medRxiv, bioRxiv, ChemRxiv, and arXiv. It is updated daily with the latest available data and enables users to explore and analyze the rapidly growing set of advances in COVID-19 research.
  • Forbes is keeping a running list of all major international airline COVID-19-related change and cancellation policies.
  • RetailDive tracks store reopenings in the U.S. 
Helpful Articles/Media
Please contact me directly with any questions and I would be happy to assist.

Sincerely,
Jessica

Jessica Hyland, J.D.
Executive Director
Iowa Biotechnology Association
Cell: (515) 822-1315
Office: (515) 327-9156
Fax: (515) 327-1407
jessica@iowabio.org
www.iowabio.org
Copyright © 2020 Iowa Biotech Association, All rights reserved.


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