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COVID-19 Update
June 23, 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

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 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, 26,217 Iowans have tested positive, up 178 from our update yesterday morning, with a total of 262,526 tested.  1 more death was reported since our last update, bringing the total to 687 deaths. Now 16,393 Iowans have recovered. The latest on hospitalizations, including how many patients have been admitted in the last 24 hours can be found here.
IowaBio Member Highlights
University of Iowa Pharmaceuticals (UIP) provides contract pharmaceutical services including pharmaceutical development, manufacturing, and testing.  UIP can support the manufacturing and testing of both clinical and commercial finished products. 
UI Pharmaceuticals has mobilized its unique resources to support novel treatments for patients suffering COVID-19 infections. UI Pharmaceuticals has prioritized and channeled its expertise towards supporting three novel programs using different approaches to treating complications associated with COVID-19 infections. Through the flexibility of their facility and dedication of their staff, they accelerated production scheduling to within six-weeks of proposal acceptance by their clients.  UI Pharemaceuticals is proud to be involved in the development of potential treatments for COVID-19 infections and looks forward to supporting similar projects in the future, as well as providing the quality and customer service their clients have come to expect from UI Pharmaceuticals. 
UIP is a Food and Drug Administration-registered pharmaceutical manufacturing facility, providing expert pharmaceutical development services to clients around the world.
Federal Actions.
  • Here is last week’s COVIDView from CDC, a weekly summary and interpretation of key indicators that have been adapted to track the COVID-19 pandemic in the U.S.
  • Gen. Gustave Perna, nominated to be the chief operating officer for Operation Warp Speed, testified to the Senate Armed Services Committee that he believes the government will be able to produce 300 million doses of a vaccine by January 1st, 2021.
  • The FDA participated in the International Society for Neglected Tropical Diseases virtual meeting Friday to discuss how the CURE ID app can be used to capture case reports regarding treatments and advance research into neglected tropical disease and COVID-19.
  • Visit the FDA’s new web section Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) Emergency Use Authorizations for Medical Devices. This resource provides information on the EUA's for COVID-19 tests and other medical devices that the FDA has issued related to COVID-19 on individual web pages to help make it easier for the public to access this information.
  • The FDA published FAQs related to its Temporary Policy Regarding Certain Food Labeling Requirements During the COVID-19 Public Health Emergency: Minor Formulation Changes and Vending Machines.
  • The FDA is announced its participation in the COVID-19 Diagnostics Evidence Accelerator, a multi-stakeholder collaborative project to advance the development of diagnostics. The Diagnostics Evidence Accelerator is organized by the Reagan-Udall Foundation for the FDA in collaboration with Friends of Cancer Research. The Diagnostics Evidence Accelerator is the companion project to the previously announced Therapeutic Evidence Accelerator, which brings together leading experts in health data aggregation and analytics in a unified, collaborative effort to share insights, compare results and answer key questions to inform the collective COVID-19 response.
  • CMS announced that the MITRE Corporation has published the membership of the independent Coronavirus Commission on Safety and Quality in Nursing Homes. CMS seeks an independent review and comprehensive assessment of the nursing home response to COVID-19. The agency tasked the contractor, MITRE, to solicit membership applications, select the members, and facilitate the Commission’s work. The Commission’s review will help inform current and future responses to COVID-19 and potential future infectious disease outbreaks within nursing homes.
  • The Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has issued guidance to assist employers reopening non-essential businesses and their employees returning to work during the evolving pandemic. The guidance supplements the U.S. Department of Labor and U.S. Department of Health and Human Services' previously developed Guidance on Preparing Workplaces for COVID-19 and the White House's Guidelines for Opening Up America Again. The guidelines provide general principles for updating restrictions originally put in place to slow the spread of the COVID-19. During each phase of the reopening process, employers should continue to focus on strategies for basic hygiene, social distancing, identification and isolation of sick employees, workplace controls and flexibilities, and employee training.
  • The following COVID-19 hearings are slated to place in Congress next week:
    • Tuesday (6/23) 10 AM Senate HELP, "Hearings to examine COVID-19, focusing on lessons learned to prepare for the next pandemic."
    • Tuesday (6/23) 11 AM House Energy and Commerce, "Oversight of the Trump Administration's Response to the COVID-19 Pandemic."
    • Tuesday (6/23) 11:30 AM House Science, Space, and Technology, "R&D to Support Healthy Air Travel in the COVID-19 Era and Beyond."
    • Tuesday (6/23) 1 PM House VA, "VA Telehealth During the COVID-19 Pandemic: Expansion and Impact."
    • Tuesday (6/23) 2 PM House Ways and Means, "The Child Care Crisis and the Coronavirus Pandemic."
    • Tuesday (6/23) 2:30 PM House Budget, "Health and Wealth Inequality in America: How COVID-19 Makes Clear the Need for Change."
    • Wednesday (6/24) 9:30 AM House Natural Resources, "Hearings to examine the impact of COVID-19 on mineral supply chains, focusing on the role of those supply chains in economic and national security, and challenges and opportunities to rebuild."
    • Wednesday (6/24) 10 AM Senate Homeland Security, "Hearings to examine the role of the strategic national stockpile in pandemic response."
    • Thursday (6/25) 2 PM House Ways and Means, "Hearing on Examining the COVID-19 Nursing Home Crisis."
Updates from the States
  • Out of the cases under investigation detected by U.S. surveillance, there are 2,275,645 total cases and 119,923 deaths The CDC data closes out the day before reporting. 
  • New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy (D) announced that indoor sections of retail shopping malls may reopen on June 29th. All mall customers will be required to wear face coverings at all times and stores will be limited to 50 percent capacity.
  • New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) is signing two executive orders to help enforce social distancing rules. The governor also announced the state will issue guidelines to allow some residential and face-to-face programming for schools reopening in the Fall.
  • Texas Gov. Greg Abbott (R) announced plans to reopen the state's schools in the fall with both in-person classes and options for remote instruction. Gov. Abbott also allowed Bexar County to impose fines on businesses not mandating mask use, paving the way for more counties and cities to do the same.
  • California Gov. Gavin Newsom (D) issued an order requiring people to wear face coverings in most indoor public settings.
  • Kansas Gov. Laura Kelly (D) said Kansans who have traveled to Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, or Maryland must quarantine for 14 days. The quarantine order also applies to those who have travelled internationally or on a cruise ship.
  • 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 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.
International Affairs
  • The WHO has warned that the COVID-19 pandemic is entering a “new and dangerous” phase. Last Thursday saw the most cases in a single day reported to the WHO. 
  • The Education Secretary for England, Gavin Williamson, said the government will bring all children in all year groups back to school in September.
  • Chinese officials say a coronavirus strain in an outbreak in Beijing may have come from Europe. 
  • Egypt said it registered 1,218 new cases of COVID-19 last Thursday, edging the total number of cases up to more than 50,000 before it is set to further ease restrictions. 
  • Italian scientists said they found traces of the virus in samples of sewage water collected in December, further suggesting that the virus was already circulating in the country months before the outbreak at the end of February. 
  • South Korea has reported 49 cases of COVID-19 as the virus continues to spread in the densely populated capital area where half of the country’s 51 million people live.
  • Figures released by the Korean CDC put the national caseload to 12,306 infections, including 280 deaths. 
  • India reported a record daily jump in the number of COVID-19 cases on Friday as the southern city of Chennai locked down following fresh outbreaks there. 
  • Global Cases: 9, 121,337   Total Deaths:  472,541
Helpful Articles/Media The Role of Race in COVID-19 Health Disparities
Health differences between racial and ethnic groups are often due to economic and social conditions that are more common among some racial and ethnic minorities than white people. In public health emergencies, these conditions can also isolate people from the resources they need to prepare for and respond to outbreaks. 

For many people in racial and ethnic minority groups, living conditions and environmental factors may contribute to underlying health conditions and make it difficult to follow steps to prevent getting sick with COVID-19 or to seek treatment if they do get sick.
  • Members of racial and ethnic minorities may be more likely to live in densely populated areas because of institutional racism in the form of residential housing segregation. People living in densely populated areas may find it more difficult to practice prevention measures such as social distancing.
  • Research suggests that racial residential segregation is a fundamental cause of health disparities. For example, racial residential segregation is linked with a variety of adverse health outcomes and underlying health conditions. These underlying conditions can also increase the likelihood of severe illness from COVID-19.
  • Many members of racial and ethnic minorities live in neighborhoods that are farther from grocery stores and medical facilities, making it more difficult to receive care if sick and stock up on supplies that would allow them to stay home.
  • Multi-generational households, which may be more common among some racial and ethnic minority families, may find it difficult to take precautions to protect older family members or isolate those who are sick, if space in the household is limited.
  • Racial and ethnic minority groups are over-represented in jails, prisons, and detention centers, which have specific risks due to congregate living, shared food service, and more.
Please contact me directly with any questions and I would be happy to assist.


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

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