July 5 -11, 2021

Regional Coalition Meeting
The Northwest Region Healthcare Coalition will hold its monthly meeting Thursday July 8 beginning at 10:30 am. The agenda, the May meeting minutes, and the conference dial-in information will be sent to the routine attendees on the Tuesday prior to the meeting. The meeting will be held via our Ring Central conference call line.

Credit: Virginia Hospital & Healthcare Association

Credit: Virginia Department of Health

COVID-19 Pandemic

Information related to the pandemic can be found on our website under Current Events. We will continue to update information related to COVID-19 there.


Credit: Health & Human Services

Credit: Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response


Credit: Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response Technical Resource,                                                                                 Assistance Center, and Information Exchange

         Credit: Hospital Preparedness Program




  Credit: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention


Credit: U.S. Food & Drug Administration

1. SARS-CoV-2: Host-pathogen interaction, vaccines & variants of concern

Professors Carroll and Hiscox’s studies reveal how the human body responds to severe SARS-CoV-2 infection which will help in future treatments of COVID-19 patients. They will also present results on the immunological response to infection and vaccination, in addition to the potential impact of new variants of the virus that are continuously evolving.

July 8, 2021; 12:00 PM – 1:00 PM ET

Register Here

2. Coronavirus (COVID-19) Update: FDA Authorizes Drug for Treatment of COVID-19
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration issued an emergency use authorization (EUA) for the drug Actemra (tocilizumab) for the treatment of hospitalized adults and pediatric patients (2 years of age and older) who are receiving systemic corticosteroids and require supplemental oxygen, non-invasive or invasive mechanical ventilation, or extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (ECMO). Actemra is not authorized for use in outpatients with COVID-19.
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3. Coronavirus (COVID-19) Update: June 25, 2021
The FDA is announcing revisions to the patient and provider fact sheets for the Moderna and Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccines regarding the suggested increased risks of myocarditis (inflammation of the heart muscle) and pericarditis (inflammation of the tissue surrounding the heart) following vaccination. For each vaccine, the Fact Sheet for Healthcare Providers Administering Vaccine (Vaccination Providers) has been revised to include a warning about myocarditis and pericarditis and the Fact Sheet for Recipients and Caregivers has been revised to include information about myocarditis and pericarditis.
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4. Join Us: Webinar on Revocation of EUAs for Non-NIOSH Approved Respirators and Decontamination Systems

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) will host a webinar to share information and answer questions about revocation of EUAs for non-NIOSH-approved respirators and decontamination systems. Specifically, the FDA will present information about the June 30, 2021, Update: FDA No Longer Authorizes Use of Non-NIOSH-Approved or Decontaminated Disposable Respirators – Letter to Health Care Personnel and Facilities.

  • Date: Tuesday, July 13, 2021
  • Time: 12:00-1:00 p.m. ET
  • Registration: There is no registration for this webinar. View the webinar details for call-in information.

View the Webinar Details

Credit: Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services

Guidance related to Emergency Preparedness-Exercise Exemption based on a Facility’s Activation of their Emergency Plan 

On June 21, 2021, CMS revised guidance and provided clarifications related to training and testing/exercise exemptions for the continuing public health emergency (PHE). The updated guidance provides guidance to facilities that either continue to operate under its emergency operations plan or have deactivated the emergency operations plan and are conducting normal operations. The changes are highlighted in red in the document below.
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         Credit: U.S. Department of Homeland Security 

Credit: Federal Emergency Management Agency

Credit: U.S. Fire Administration


1. FEMA Releases COVID-19 Resource Roadmaps (Version 2.0)

These Roadmaps were developed to help SLTT partners in identifying potential sources of funding and other resources to help them with COVID-19 pandemic recovery. The five Roadmaps (food and nutrition, housing, healthcare, education, and economic recovery) were developed in partnership with nearly thirty federal interagency partners, including the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development and U.S. Department of Commerce. Each Roadmap identifies potential solutions to address specific challenge areas and describes how supplemental and certain annually appropriated funds can be used to implement recovery solutions. Specifically, in addition to the CARES Act, Version 2.0 includes resources that were identified in the Consolidated Appropriations Act and American Rescue Plan Act.
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2. FEMA Amends COVID-19 Funeral Assistance Policy

FEMA is amending the agency’s COVID-19 Funeral Assistance policy to assist with COVID-19 related fatalities that occurred in the early months of the pandemic.
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3. The InfoGram

  • New guidance from CDC on post-COVID conditions
  • FEMA seeks public feedback on two Urban Search & Rescue resource types
  • Updated Funding Mechanisms Guide for Public Safety Communications from CISA, SAFECOM, NCSWIC
  • Webinar: Emergency Response at the January 6 Incident at the US Capitol

Read More »

Credit: Virginia Department of Emergency Management

Course Offerings

1. ICS 300 Intermediate ICS for Expanding Incidents (Multiple Dates)
This 21-hour course is designed for front-line personnel with supervisory responsibilities to serve in a command or general staff position. The curriculum includes instruction in general principles associated with incident command, along with various tabletop exercises that allow students to put this knowledge to practical use.
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2. ICS 400 Advanced ICS (Multiple Dates)
This training is a 15-hour course that provides training on the advanced resource management provisions of the Incident Command System (ICS). Course topics include explaining the special management challenges of major incidents such as unified command, multi-agency coordination systems, and emergency operations centers, as well as explaining how Multi-Agency Coordination Systems (MACS) are established and interface with emergency operations centers.
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3. G191 Incident Command System/Emergency Operations Center Interface (Multiple Dates)
This 8 hour course works best when delivered to Incident Command System and Emergency Operations Center personnel from the same community. The course provides an opportunity for participants to begin developing an ICS/EOC interface for their community. The course reviews ICS and EOC responsibilities and functions and depends heavily on exercises and group discussions to formulate the interface.
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4. FEMA PER386 Whole Community Inclusive Economic Recovery Course (Multiple Dates)
An introduction to economic recovery planning using a method in which the entire community is empowered to work collaboratively in preparation, mitigation, response, and in recovery from a disaster.
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5. G205 Recovery from Disaster
Fairfax County is hosting the G0205: Recovery from Disaster Course has been scheduled and is available in the COVLC. This course provides an introduction to disaster recovery principles and includes current recovery practices and policies as outlined in the National Disaster Recovery Framework (NDRF). Case studies and activities are included in the course to support participant learning. Access to and use of a variety of resources for recovery planning are taught in the course, including a FEMA online Community Recovery Management Toolkit (CRMT) and a Resource Library associated with the Recovery Pre-Disaster Planning Guide for Local Governments (RPPG-L) that contains links to model plans, templates, tools, lessons learned, best practices, and a range of supplemental reference materials and related pre-disaster planning and disaster recovery resources. Prerequisites: ICS 100 is a suggested prerequisite. IS-2900: National Disaster Recovery Framework (NDRF) Overview is strongly recommended, but not required.

Dates: October 6-7, 2021
Time: 8:30am – 4:30pm
Location: VDEM-Room 2115, VDEM-McConnell PSTOCB (MPSTOC)

1. COVID-19 is still delaying surgeries, even as cased die down. Here’s why 

For some former COVID-19 patients, elective surgeries may still be a risk even months after the initial infection, especially among those experiencing lingering virus symptoms, Kaiser Health News reported June 28. 

That’s because a growing body of research indicates COVID-19 can affect multiple organs and systems. A number of studies have also shown the postoperative death rate among patients who’ve had COVID-19 is higher than those who’ve never been infected. 

One such study, published March 9 in Anaesthesia and cited by Kaiser, looked at the 30-day postoperative death rate of more than 140,000 patients across 116 countries who had elective or emergency surgery in October 2020. Among COVID-19 patients, the postoperative death rate was 4.1 percent for those who had surgery within two weeks of being diagnosed with COVID-19, findings showed. 

Source: Erica Carbajal of Becker’s Hospital Review
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2. CMS lacks authority to ensure safety during pandemics, inspector general finds 

CMS does not have sufficient authority to ensure accredited hospitals maintain safety and quality during an emerging infectious disease emergency, HHS’ Office of Inspector General said in a June 28 report.

The inspector general reviewed CMS hospital preparedness measures for an emerging infectious disease and found they were well-designed and implemented, but CMS lacks the oversight authority to ensure adherence to these measures.

The report recommends CMS make regulatory changes that permit the agency to require hospitals to perform special surveys after it issues new participation requirements or guidelines during a public health emergency.

Source: Mackenzie Bean of Becker’s Hospital Review
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3. Delta now most common strain in US, sequencing data show 

The delta coronavirus variant, first identified in India, is now the most commonly circulating strain in the U.S., according to sequencing data cited by The Wall Street Journal.

As of June 27, the strain accounted for about 40 percent of positive COVID-19 test samples, according to the population genomics company Helix, which is contracted with the CDC to track variants. The variant accounted for 26.1 percent of all U.S. cases in the two weeks ending June 19, according to CDC estimates.

“This is the first time we felt confident to say that Delta is the most prevalent lineage in the U.S.,” William Lee, PhD, Helix’s vice president of science, told the Journal.

Dr. Lee projects the variant will account for at least half of all COVID-19 cases in the U.S. by early to mid-July.

The CDC on June 30 said it is maintaining current masking guidelines — which say fully vaccinated people don’t need them in most cases  — amid the delta variant’s rising prevalence.

“People who are fully vaccinated are protected, including from the variants currently circulating in the country such as the delta variant,” the CDC said in a statement cited by the Journal.

Source: Mackenzie Bean of Becker’s Hospital Review

4. CDC: Masking policies up to states amid delta variant spread 

The CDC director said its guidance for people fully vaccinated against COVID-19, which says  masks are not required in most indoor settings, has not changed amid renewed attention to mask-wearing fueled by the delta variant. 

“If you are vaccinated, you are safe from the variants that are circulating here in the United States,” Rochelle Walensky, MD, CDC director said during a June 30 interview on NBC’s Today, adding that it was “exactly right” that vaccinated people do not need to wear masks in most settings. 

This comes amid public confusion sparked by comments made by World Health Organization officials during a June 25 news conference, where WHO officials urged fully vaccinated people to continue wearing masks and taking other pandemic safety precautions as the highly transmissible delta strain, first detected in India, continues to spread around the world. 

Source: Erica Carbajal of Becker’s Hospital Review
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5. New workplace violence prevention requirements will require tough questions 

Implementing The Joint Commission’s (TJC) workplace violence prevention requirements is going to take a multidisciplinary committee that is not afraid to ask hard questions about your organization’s culture of safety. 

Source: A.J. Plunkett of hcpro
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Click the link to The Joint Commission’s standard on workplace violence requirements effective January 1, 2022.

6. 1K boxes of PPE left out in rain by New York nursing home 

Almost 1,000 boxes storing gloves, masks and other personal protective equipment were stored outside under a tarp for months at New York City-based New York State Veterans’ Home at St. Albans, reports The City.

The state-run nursing home for veterans was storing the extra PPE outside, exposing the once desperately needed supply to rain, rats and snakes, according to the news publication. Many of the items have been rendered unusable from rot and mildew, some staff members told The City.

Hundreds of other boxes of PPE are stacked in several rooms at the home that are meant to be for resident use, such as a library and physical therapy unit, staffers told The City.

“When we needed the PPE we couldn’t even get it,” said one employee. “Now it’s being wasted.”

Officials at the State Department of Health, which manages the facility, said trucks were moving some of the boxes into storage, both on-site and off. They didn’t respond to a question about the visible damage to hundreds of boxes stored outside, nor whether it was appropriate to store the PPE outdoors for months.

Jill Montag, a health department spokesperson, sent a statement that said St. Albans, like other nursing sites, “continues to receive, manage and use a supply of PPE items in an ongoing effort to combat the pandemic, stay prepared for any future developments and abide by state and federal regulations governing PPE supply requirements.”

Neville Goldson, administrator of the veterans home, didn’t respond to The City‘s request for comment.  

Source: Gabrielle Masson of Becker’s Hospital Review

7. A Year of COVID-19 Data: Lessons Learned 

If a year of COVID-19 could be said to have any positives, one is the immense amount of data the pandemic has generated for the healthcare industry. That data has been both vast and valuable, and resulted from a wide array of resources, including medication management solutions.

Researchers have begun to dig into the results of this data collection and identified trends that have helped them understand mortality rates during the pandemic and beyond.

Source: PSQH
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