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COVID-19 Update
June 30, 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, 28,874 Iowans have tested positive, up 281 from our update yesterday morning, with a total of 302,719 tested.  6 more deaths were reported since our last update, bringing the total to 712 deaths. Now 23,003 Iowans have recovered. The latest on hospitalizations, including how many patients have been admitted in the last 24 hours can be found here.
 
Federal Legislation
Supplemental IV
Timeline/Process/Politics: While Congress has been focused on infrastructure, police reform, the FY21 NDAA, movement toward the next supplemental has stalled. However, over the weekend, Senate Republican appropriators have begun to seriously consider what to include in the next package. As the federal boost to unemployment insurance ends July 31, lawmakers will attempt to put something on the floor before August. It should not be forgotten that the most recent supplemental, which only focused on the Paycheck Protection Program and its funding, took multiple weeks to negotiate. August looms large.
 
Policy: While the Heroes Act will not be taken up by the Senate (as Sen. McConnell has indicated), it can serve as a marker of what the Senate will be responding to. Heroes Act text (as of 5/12/2020) here. Section by section here. One pager here. State and Local one pager here. NCAI’s summary on tribal provisions here. Manager’s amendment here. House Rules Committee report here.
 
While we have yet to see what plan Senate Republicans will propose that threads the needle on liability protection, we’ve seen a bipartisan bill in the House on the issue from Reps. Garret Graves (R-LA) and Henry Cuellar (D-TX). However, Democrats have been disregarding that proposal and have looked to Rep. Lou Correa (D-CA) to take the lead or at least be involved in whatever compromise comes out on liability protection.
 
Passed Legislation
 New Implementation Information and Guidance
  • 6/27 – SBA released updated data on the Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) and EIDL Advance programs. EIDL data here. EIDL Advance data here.
  • 6/26 – The GAO released a report that found that the Small Business Administration processed over $512 billion in guaranteed small business loans but isn’t ready to address fraud risks and hasn’t said how it plans to oversee the loans. The report focuses on the government’s response to COVID-19 through legislation and included findings regarding the Paycheck Protection Program, Unemployment Insurance, economic impact payments, and others.
  • 6/24 – Treasury and SBA released additional eligibility revisions to the Paycheck Protection Program in the form of an updated First Interim Final Rule. Updated Rule here.
  • 6/24 – HUD announced it is awarding $962,160 in funding to HUD Fair Housing Assistance Program (FHAP) agencies in New York, Louisiana, Rhode Island, Iowa, Pennsylvania, Massachusetts, California, Texas, Indiana, Florida, Nebraska, Hawaii, South Carolina, Maryland, Michigan, Connecticut, and New Jersey to support activities related to COVID-19. The awards to the nineteen organizations are part of $1.5 million in Partnership and Special Enforcement Effort funds being provided to FHAP agencies through the CARES Act. 
Members of Congress in Quarantine or Treatment (new additions in bold)
Tested Positive (0):
Currently Self-Quarantined (0):
Recovered (7): Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY), Rep. Joe Cunningham (D-SC), Rep. Ben McAdams (D-UT), Rep. Mario Diaz-Balart (R-FL), Rep. Mike Kelly (R-PA), Rep. Nydia Velazquez (D-NY), Rep. Neal Dunn (R-FL)
Completed Quarantine (40): Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX), Rep. Mark Meadows (R-NC), Sen. Lindsay Graham (R-SC), Rep. Don Beyer (D-VA), Rep. Sharice Davids (D-KS), Rep. Doug Collins (R-GA), Rep. Paul Gosar (R-AZ), Sen. Cory Gardner (R-CO), Sen. Rick Scott (R-FL), Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-FL), Rep. Jason Crow (D-CO), Rep. Julia Brownley (D-CA), Rep. Ben Ray Luján (D-NM), Rep. Gwen Moore (D-WI), Rep. Stephanie Murphy (D-FL), Rep. John Yarmuth (D-KY), Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA), Rep. Vincente Gonzalez (D-TX), Rep. Drew Ferguson (R-GA), Rep. David Schweikert (R-AZ), Rep. Anthony Brindisi (D-NY), Rep. David Price (D-NC), Rep. Ann Wagner (R-MO), Rep. Kathleen Rice (D-NY), Rep. Matt Cartwright (D-PA), Rep. Tom Cole (R-OK), Rep. Steve Scalise (R-LA), Rep. Frederica Wilson (D-FL), Rep. Andy Kim (D-NJ), Rep. Kendra Horn (D-OK), Sen. Mike Lee (R-UT), Sen. Mitt Romney (R-UT), Rep. Katie Porter (D-CA), Rep. Seth Moulton (D-MA), Rep. Lizzie Fletcher (D-TX), Rep. Josh Gottheimer (D-NJ), Rep. Ayanna Pressley (D-MA), Rep. Mikie Sherrill (D-NJ), Sen. Lamar Alexander (R-TN), Rep. Tom Rice (R-SC)
 
Other Federal Actions
  • HHS announced an agreement to secure large supplies of the drug remdesivir for the U.S. from Gilead Sciences through September, allowing American hospitals to purchase the drug in amounts allocated by HHS and state health departments. Supplies will be allocated in the same way that Gilead’s donation of approximately 120,000 treatment courses of remdesivir were allocated: HHS allocates product to state and territorial health departments based on COVID-19 hospital burden, and health departments allocate it to hospitals. The delivery of the purchased remdesivir will be streamlined, going directly to the hospital, per the state’s allocation decision, rather than going first to the state health departments for subsequent delivery to hospitals.
  • You can view the FDA's daily COVID-19 roundup here
  • The CDC yesterday highlighted considerations for wearing cloth face coverings. Emerging evidence from clinical and laboratory studies that shows cloth face coverings reduce the spray of droplets when worn over the nose and mouth.
  • The CDC continues to update its dashboard with new guidance documents and details. Over the weekend and yesterday, the agency updated considerations for restaurants and bars, strategies for optimizing the supply of face masks, and the newest travel recommendations by country
  • OSHA, the CDC, and the FDA released joint coronavirus-related interim guidance for employers and workers performing seafood processing operations in onshore facilities and aboard vessels offshore. The guidance includes recommended actions employers can take to reduce the risk of exposure to the coronavirus.
  • The following COVID-19 hearings are slated to place in Congress this week:
    • Tuesday (6/30) 10 AM Senate HELP, "Hearings to examine COVID-19, focusing on an update on progress toward safely getting back to work and back to school."
    • Tuesday (6/30) 10 AM Senate Foreign Relations, "Hearings to examine COVID-19 and United States international pandemic preparedness, prevention, and response, focusing on additional perspectives."
    • Tuesday (6/30) 11 AM House Energy and Commerce, "High Anxiety and Stress: Legislation to Improve Mental Health During Crisis."
    • Tuesday (6/30) 2:30 PM Senate Energy and Natural Resources, "Hearings to examine the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic in the territories."
    • Wednesday (7/1) 2:30 PM Senate Indian Affairs, “Evaluating the Response and Mitigation to the COVID-19 Pandemic in Native Communities.”
    • Thursday (7/2) 9 AM House Oversight, “The Administration’s Efforts to Procure, Stockpile, and Distribute Critical Supplies”
    • Thursday (7/2) 10 AM Senate Labor-HHS Appropriations, "Hearings to examine Operation Warp Speed, focusing on researching, manufacturing, and distributing a safe and effective coronavirus vaccine."
Updates from the States
  • Out of the cases under investigation detected by U.S. surveillance, there are 2,545,250 total cases and 126,369 deaths The CDC data closes out the day before reporting. 
  • Cases in California increased by 45 percent over the course of the last week. 
  • At least 14 states have announced they are pausing or rolling back reopening measures, including: Arizona, Arkansas, California, Delaware, Florida, Idaho, Louisiana, North Carolina, Maine, New Jersey, Nevada, New Mexico, Texas, and Washington state.
  • New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy (D) announced a pause on the state's resumption of indoor dining, which was set to resume Thursday.
  • Rhode Island Gov. Gina Raimondo (D) announced a mandatory 14-day quarantine starting Tuesday for people coming from a state with a 5 percent or greater positivity rate. The governor said Rhode Island will move to phase three of its reopening plan on Tuesday.
  • Tennessee Gov. Bill Lee (R) extended the state of emergency for Tennessee until August 29th.
  • Local Florida officials announced that beaches in Monroe, Miami-Dade, Broward, and Palm Beach Counties will close for the Fourth of July holiday weekend. Jacksonville will not be closing its beaches for the holiday weekend.
  • Los Angeles County has also closed all beaches for the Fourth of July weekend.
  • Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp (R) is expected to extend the state's remaining pandemic restrictions. 
  • Kansas Gov. Laura Kelly (D) said she would sign an executive order requiring most residents to wear masks in public beginning July 3rd.
  • Not all states are seeing a rise in cases. New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) announced that the state has seen its lowest number of hospitalizations and average death toll from COVID-19 since the pandemic began.
  • Useful state data:
    • The NYT is tracking which states are reopening and which are still shut down.
    • 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
  • The number of COVID-19 cases worldwide now exceeds 10 million, and the death toll has passed 500,000, with daily infections escalating in the U.S., India, and Brazil. 
  • The WHO is planning to send a team to China next week to try to understand the origins of the coronavirus. 
  • Thailand will lift a ban on international flights on July 1st.
  • Spain’s Foreign Minister Arancha Gonzalez Laya said officials are preparing a list of 15 non-EU countries considered safe for travel based on epidemiological criteria. 
  • Italy reported its lowest number of daily deaths on Saturday since early March. 
  • China reported a further decline in new confirmed cases of COVID-19, with a total of just 12, including seven cases of domestic transmission in Beijing, where nearly 8.3 million people have now undergone testing in recent weeks. 
  • Australian health authorities are using what they describe as a world-first saliva test for COVID-19 in Victoria state. 
  • Greek authorities said on Monday that direct flights from Britain and Sweden to Greece will not be allowed until July 15th. 
  • The U.K. is considering imposing a city-specific lockdown for the first time during its coronavirus pandemic after the city of Leicester became a hot spot for the virus. 
  • World Bank experts predict the virus could cause 58 million people in Africa to become impoverished, which would stunt hugely important middle-class growth on the continent. 
  • Around the world, health care workers are facing death threats, attacks, and threats to their families by the families and friends of ill patients. 
  • Global Cases: 10,415,035      Total Deaths:  509,474
Lifestyle, Science, and Economy
  • A new study conducted by the CDC and several hospitals found that over half of U.S. states have seen previously healthy young people become seriously ill from multisystem inflammatory syndrome in children (MIS-C) related to coronavirus. Nearly 90 percent of the 186 patients in the report were hospitalized, and most of those needed intensive care, the researchers said. One in five of the patients, who were all under 21, became so sick that they required ventilators, and four children died. 
  • An early release in CDC's Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report (MMWR) found that testing among quarantined contacts of patients with COVID-19 in a correctional and detention facility identified a high proportion of asymptomatic and presymptomatic cases that were not identified through symptom screening alone. Approximately one fourth of cases were found through serial testing during quarantine. This implies early detection and isolation of persons with COVID-19, along with testing of close contacts, can slow the transmission of SARS-CoV-2 in correctional and detention facilities. Serial testing, particularly for close contacts of patients, is important for complete identification of cases and prompt public health response in congregate settings.
  • According to data from the New York Times, at least 54,000 residents and employees of nursing homes and long-term care facilities have died from COVID-19, accounting for 43 percent of virus-related deaths in the U.S.
  • An additional article in the MMWR found highlights that pregnant women might be at increased risk for severe COVID-19 illness. To reduce severe COVID-19–associated illness, pregnant women should be aware of their potential risk for severe COVID-19 illness. Prevention of COVID-19 should be emphasized for pregnant women and potential barriers to adherence to these measures need to be addressed.
  • A Pennsylvania company that sold bottles of hand sanitizer at an extreme markup on Amazon must refund customers nearly $14,000 and pay a $1,900 fine for price gouging.
  • Broadway will remain closed for at least the rest of this year, and many shows are signaling that they do not expect a return to the stage until late winter or early spring.
  • Cirque du Soleil announced that it had filed for bankruptcy protection in Canada and plans to do the same in the U.S.. The production said that it had lost its entire revenue stream. The company, which this year temporarily laid off 5,000 employees, nearly 95 percent of its workforce, said that it had entered into a “stalking horse” purchase agreement for existing shareholders to restart the business.
  • The Chinese government has approved a vaccine candidate for use by the country’s military. CanSino Biologics, a pharmaceutical company based in Tianjin, says it has seen promising results in early trials.
  • 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
  • BIO’s pipeline tracker is here.
  • 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.
  • 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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