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COVID-19 Update
July 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 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, 40,210 Iowans have tested positive, up 483  from our update yesterday morning, with a total of 432,834 tested.  6 additional deaths were reported since our last update, bringing the total to 814 deaths. Now 28,855 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
  • A new FDA Voices, tilted FDA’s Ongoing Work to Support and Advance COVID-19 Diagnostic Test Accuracy and Availability, describes how FDA has been proactive and supportive of test development by all comers — including laboratories, and large and small commercial manufacturers — to speed development and to quickly authorize tests that the science supports. 
  • FDA delivered written testimony to the Senate Subcommittee on Manufacturing, Trade, and Consumer Protection. The statement, titled Protecting Americans from COVID-19 Scams, was by Catherine Hermsen, FDA’s Assistant Commissioner, Office of Criminal Investigations, Office of Regulatory Affairs.
  • On July 29th at 12:15 PM, the FDA will host a virtual Town Hall for clinical laboratories and commercial manufacturers that are developing or have developed diagnostic tests for SARS-CoV-2. The purpose of this Town Hall is to help answer technical questions about the development and validation of tests for SARS-CoV-2.
  • HHS and DoD announced an agreement with IowaBio member Pfizer Inc. for large-scale production and nationwide delivery of 100 million doses of a COVID-19 vaccine in the U.S. following the vaccine’s successful manufacture and approval. The agreement also allows the U.S. government to acquire an additional 500 million doses. The federal government will own the 100 million doses of vaccine initially produced as a result of this agreement, and Pfizer will deliver the doses in the U.S. if the product receives EUA or licensure from the FDA after completing demonstration of safety and efficacy in a large Phase 3 clinical trial. Read more here
  • HHS announced a new program to capture feedback between federal officials and the private sector. The National Testing Implementation Forum will bring together representatives from key stakeholder groups to share information and provide input to federal leaders about COVID-19 testing and diagnostics. The members of the Forum will provide their perspectives on how HHS can best identify and address end-to-end testing supply chain issues across commercial, public health, academic, and other sectors and define optimal testing in various settings (diagnostic, screening, surveillance, others).
  • The CDC continues to update its dashboard with new guidance documents and details, and toolkits. A few of the most recent additions include:
  • Republican leadership in Congress is preparing to release their version of the next piece of COVID-19 legislation, which has been characterized as an "opening bid."
  • CMS has updated its FAQ for Medicare provider relief during COVID-19. 
  • CMS and the Trump Administration announced new resources to protect nursing home residents against COVID-19.
  • The following are COVID-19-related hearings in Congress this week:
    • Thursday (7/23) 10 AM Senate Energy and Natural Resources, "Hearings to examine the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic on users of public lands, forests, and national parks."
    • Thursday (7/23) 10:15 AM House Education and Labor, “Underfunded & Unprepared: Examining How to Overcome Obstacles to Safely Reopen Public Schools.”
    • Thursday (7/23) 10:30 AM House Financial Services, "The Heroes Act: Providing for a Strong Economic Recovery from COVID-19."
Updates from the States
  • Out of the cases under investigation detected by U.S. surveillance, there are 3,882,167 total cases and 141,677 deaths The CDC data closes out the day before reporting. 
  • California has surpassed New York for the most reported cases. 
  • North Dakota reported its single-day record for cases, with 160 while Alabama reported its single-day record for deaths, with more than 60.
  • Hawaii Gov. David Ige (D) confirmed the state’s plans to move ahead with school reopening for students on Tuesday, August 4th. Teachers return on Wednesday, July 29th.
  • Kansas Gov. Laura Kelly (D) signed EO's that outline mitigation procedures that schools must take to ensure the safety and wellbeing of Kansas students and teachers.
  • Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker (R) extended the pause on evictions and foreclosures for 60 days, until October 17th, during the COVID-19 Emergency.
  • Colorado Gov. Jared Polis (D) extended an EO increasing the Medicaid home health workforce and eliminating cost sharing for COVID-19 testing and treatment for Medicaid enrollees.
  • Gov. Tim Walz (R) in Minnesota said he would mandate masks in public starting Saturday, and added that the state would provide masks to individuals in underserved areas. 
  • Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine (R) issued a state-wide mask mandate effective tomorrow.
  • New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) announced that 10 additional states meet the metrics to qualify for the travel advisory requiring individuals who have traveled to New York from those states, all of which have significant community spread, to quarantine for 14 days. The newly-added states are Alaska, Delaware, Indiana, Maryland, Missouri, Montana, North Dakota, Nebraska, Virginia, and Washington. The quarantine applies to any person arriving from a state with a positive test rate higher than 10 per 100,000 residents over a 7-day rolling average or a state with a 10 percent or higher positivity rate over a 7-day rolling average.
  • Useful state data:
    • NPR tracks where coronavirus cases are on the rise. 
    • 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
  • Global COVID-19 infections surged past 15 million yesterday. The top five countries with the most cases are Brazil, India, Russia, and South Africa. However, the disease is accelerating the fastest in the Americas.
  • Zimbabwe imposed a dusk-to-dawn curfew and warned of stiff penalties for people who break quarantine rules.
  • Coronavirus deaths in Indonesia hit a record daily high of 139 in the past 24 hours, taking the total to 4,459.
  • Hong Kong, Australia, and Japan all announced record numbers of new cases as they battle resurgences of the virus.
  • Two ministers in South Africa’s cabinet were admitted to hospital with COVID-19 as the continent’s most-industrialized country counted a total of 372,628 confirmed cases and 5,173 deaths.
  • Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro has had another positive COVID-19 test result. It is the third test he has taken since falling ill on July 7th.
  • Hong Kong will require travelers from the U.S. and Kazakhstan to show proof that they have tested negative for the virus within 72 hours of boarding a flight to the city. The government had already introduced this regulation for travelers from seven other countries it deemed high-risk.
  • The average number of new daily cases in Spain has more than tripled in the month since the country ended its state of emergency. Spain now has 224 local outbreaks, many of which have been traced to young people.
  • In Australia, residents of Melbourne, the country's second biggest city, were ordered to wear masks in public starting today after the country reported a record 501 new cases.
  • Global Cases: 15,255,093      Total Deaths:  624,131
Lifestyle, Science, and Economy
  • The jury seems still to be out about whether a person can become infected a second time with COVID-19. Although, a study by UCLA researchers shows that in people with mild cases of COVID-19, antibodies against SARS-CoV-2 drop sharply over the first three months after infection, decreasing by roughly half every 73 days. If sustained at that rate, the antibodies would disappear within about a year.
  • A new Northwestern Medicine study in mice found a widely used class of drugs to treat patients with hypertension, cardiovascular disease and diabetic kidney disease — many of whom are elderly — does not increase the risk of developing a severe and potentially fatal COVID-19 infection. There have been concerns by the medical community worldwide that the drugs -- ACE inhibitors and angiotensin receptor blockers (ARB) -- might have caused an increase in ACE2, the main receptor for SARS-CoV-2, which could possibly increase the risk for this infection and its severity. The new findings, however, revealed a decrease, not an increase, in ACE2 in mice kidney membranes and no change in lung membranes. The study supports the safety of these drugs in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • In a survey of museum directors by the American Alliance of Museums, 16 percent of respondents said there was a high risk that their museums could close for good in the next 16 months. Another 17 percent said they did not know if they would survive without further financial help from governments and private donors.
  • The Citi Open tennis tournament in Washington, D.C. has been canceled for 2020.
  • The New York Times has created a new tracker to follow vaccine development. It contains a list of 19 of the most-talked-about treatments for COVID-19.
  • BIO’s pipeline tracker for COVID-19 vaccines, antivirals and treatments is here.
  • The WHO keeps a running list of COVID-19 vaccine candidates, which you can view here. STAT News also has a resource tracking COVID-19 drugs and vaccines
  • The NIH Office of Portfolio Analysis’s (OPA) expert-curated portfolio of COVID-19 publications and preprints 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.
Helpful Articles/Media
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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