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COVID-19 Update
June 10, 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, 22,436 Iowans have tested positive, up 321 from our update yesterday morning, with a total of 201,742 tested.  7 more deaths were reported since our update yesterday, bringing the total to 629 deaths.  Now 13,524 Iowans have recovered. The latest on hospitalizations, including how many patients have been admitted in the last 24 hours can be found here.
 
The Governor will hold her rescheduled press conference for today at 11. It will be livestreamed and posted in full on Governor Reynolds’ Facebook Page
 
The Iowa Legislature may continue debate on legislation to provide COVID-19 liability protections for businesses as soon as today in the Senate. For video of the legislature click here and choose the Senate or the House for live video of debate, when they are on the floor.
 
Federal Actions
  • HRSA announced additional distributions from the Provider Relief Fund to eligible Medicaid and CHIP providers that participate in state Medicaid and CHIP programs. HHS expects to distribute approximately $15 billion to eligible providers that participate in state Medicaid and CHIP programs and have not received a payment from the Provider Relief Fund General Allocation.
  • HHS also announced the distribution of $10 billion in Provider Relief Funds to safety net hospitals. This payment is going to hospitals that serve a disproportionate number of Medicaid patients or provide large amounts of uncompensated care. The safety net distribution will occur this week and will be sent directly to these hospitals via direct deposit. More information about eligibility and the application process is available here
  • CMS released a guide for patients and beneficiaries as they consider their in-person care options. During the pandemic, many healthcare systems and patients postponed non-emergency, in-person care in order to keep patients and providers safe and to ensure capacity to care for COVID-19 patients. As cases of COVID-19 decline, CMS chose to provide these recommendations to ensure that non-emergency healthcare resumes safely and that patients are receiving needed in-person treatment that may have been postponed due to the public health emergency. Today’s recommendations can be found here.
  • HUD Sec. Ben Carson announced the allocation of $2.96 billion in Emergency Solutions Grants (ESG) funding to support homeless Americans and individuals at risk of becoming homeless because of hardships such as job loss, wage reduction, or illness due to COVID-19. This funding is in addition to $1 billion of ESG grants announced after the CARES Act was passed. View state and territory funding allocations here.
  • FDA published two new web pages to help the public access information: (1) Innovation to Respond to COVID-19 provides an overview of FDA’s innovative approaches to respond to COVID-19 as quickly and safely as possible and (2) Educational Resources provides links to FDA-produced COVID-19-related resources that help explain FDA’s work.
  • Sen. Lamar Alexander (R-TN), Chairman of the Senate HELP Committee, released a 40-page white paper titled “Preparing for the Next Pandemic.” In the paper, Sen. Alexander identifies five priorities: accelerating research and development of tests, treatments, and vaccines; expanding disease surveillance capability; rebuilding the Strategic National Stockpile; beefing up state and local public health departments; and improving coordination of federal agencies during a public health emergency.
  • The CDC continues to update its dashboard with new guidance and details. Yesterday, the agency posted updated guidance for those who are pregnant, breastfeeding, or caring for young children, new suggestions for youth and summer camps, and the most recent travel recommendations by country.
  • The GAO released a report titled 2020 Census: COVID-19 Presents Delays and Risks to Census Count, which discusses the setbacks the Census faced due to the pandemic. 
  • There are multiple COVID-19 hearings slated to place in Congress this week:
    • Wednesday (6/10) 10 AM Senate HELP: Hearings to examine COVID-19, focusing on going back to school safely.
    • Wednesday (6/10) 12 PM House Financial Services: The Rent Is Still Due: America's Renters, COVID-19 and an Unprecedented Eviction Crisis.
    • Wednesday (6/10) 12 PM House Oversight: No Worker Left Behind: Supporting Essential Workers.
    • Thursday (6/11) 1 PM House Administration: The Impact of COVID-19 on Voting Rights and Election Administration: Ensuring Safe and Fair Elections.
    • Thursday (6/11) 1 PM House Appropriations: Indian Health Service COVID-19 Response.
    • Thursday (6/11) 2 PM House VA: Assessing VA's Response to the COVID-19 Pandemic: 90 Days Later.
Updates from the States
  • Out of the cases under investigation detected by U.S. surveillance, there are 1,965,421 total cases and 110,925 deaths The CDC data closes out the day before reporting. 
  • Since the beginning of June, the seven-day average of new COVID-19 cases reported in 14 states and Puerto Rico has reached record highs.
  • Fewer than half of U.S. states are following federal recommendations to report probable COVID-19 cases and deaths, which experts say is an unusual break with public health practices that leads to inconsistent data collection and undercounts of the disease’s impact. California, Florida, North Carolina, and New York, four of the largest states, are all potentially undercounting cases. That is one reason government officials and public health experts say the virus’s true toll is likely above the 1.9 million cases and nearly 111,000 deaths.
  • Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam (D) announced today that Richmond and Northern Virginia will be allowed to move into phase two of reopening on Thursday. 
  • New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy (D) signed an EO that will increase the number of people permitted to gather outdoors to 100, and increases the number of people allowed to gather indoors to 25 percent of the building's capacity. All outdoor recreational and entertainment businesses in the state will be permitted to open on June 22nd.
  • New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) announced that the Mid-Hudson region has been cleared to begin phase two of reopening.
  • Maine Gov. Janet Mills (D) released an alternative plan to the state's 14-day quarantine requirement for visitors, titled Keep Maine Healthy.
  • Gov. Laura Kelly (D) signed a bill that extended Kansas's state of emergency to September 15th.
  • Connecticut has ordered hospitals that were barring visitors because of the pandemic to make exceptions for patients with disabilities. They now must be allowed to have a family member or a care provider accompany them when they need support.
  • 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
  • Greek Foreign Minister Nikos Dendias said Greece will gradually begin allowing tourists from Italy to visit the country starting June 15th. The easing of restrictions is expected to be completed by the end of June, and officials have expressed hope that Italians will choose Greece as their holiday destination. Italy was not originally included in list of 29 countries to which Greece said it would open its borders when international flights to the country's two main cities Athens and Thessaloniki resume. Tourists from the approved countries may be subjected to random COVID-19 tests on arrival.
  • Retail outlets in the U.K. can reopen starting June 15th as long as they comply with government coronavirus-secure guidelines. Business Sec. Alok Sharma said that stores should display in their shop window or outside their door a sign to show their customers that they have read and taken steps to follow the government guidance on reopening. Restaurants, pubs and bars, as well as hairdressers, barbers, nail bars, and related services will remain closed. Sec. Sharma said the government’s goal is to reopen these business sectors starting July 4th at the earliest.
  • Wearing masks will continue to be mandatory even after Spain’s state of emergency is lifted on June 21st, and the country enters its new normal. The Spanish Cabinet approved today a health safety measures decree that will be implemented immediately following the end of the state of emergency.
  • French Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire said he will present a second stimulus package tomorrow of $51 billion (45 billion euros) for the French economy amid the pandemic. In all, France will be spending close to $521 billion (460 billion euros) in recovery measures, which represents 21 percent of the French national wealth.
  • In India, one national employment study conducted in May found that a higher proportion of women reported losing their jobs than men. Among Indians who remained employed, women were more likely to report anxiety about their futures. The global slowdown could have especially stark consequences in developing economies, where about 70 percent of working women are employed in the informal economy, with few protections.
  • Antarctica is still the only continent that has not reported any cases of COVID-19. In an effort to keep it that way, Antarctica New Zealand, the government agency responsible for carrying out New Zealand’s activities on the continent, said that it would cut back on research trips.
  • The Pantheon in Rome has reopened, as has the building in Milan that houses Leonardo’s “Last Supper.”
  • Global Cases:  7,258,842       Total Deaths:  411,694
Lifestyle, Science, and Economy
  • A top expert at the WHO walked back her previous assertion that transmission of the virus by people who did not have symptoms was “very rare.” Dr. Maria Van Kerkhove, who made the original comment at a WHO briefing on Monday, said that it was based on just two or three studies and that it was a misunderstanding to say asymptomatic transmission was rare globally.
  • An international team of researchers led by McMaster University has found that while higher heat and humidity can slow the spread of COVID-19, longer hours of sunlight are associated with a higher incidence of the disease, in a sign that sunny days can tempt more people out even if this means a higher risk of infection.
  • Chicago canceled all arts performances and festivals in parks through Labor Day, including Lollapalooza, Chicago SummerDance and the Chicago Jazz Festival.
  • AMC Theaters announced today that nearly all locations in the U.S. and Britain will reopen next month. Overall, theaters in 90 percent of overseas markets will be running again by mid-July, according to the National Association of Theater Owners, a trade organization for movie exhibitors in 98 countries.
  • On May 27th, the presidents of three public universities--Arizona State, Purdue, and University of Washington--discussed “COVID-19 and the Mission of the U.S. Public University.” This event was hosted by the National Academies' Board on Higher Education and Workforce and Issues in Science and Technology. You can view the panel here
  • The N.F.L. has detailed the steps that teams must take before players can return to training facilities.
  • 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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