The American Academy of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation has released the first clinical guidance on the treatment of post-COVID-19-related fatigue. It marks the first clinical guidance on treating long-haulers released since the CDC’s interim guidance issued June 14.
The guidance statement on long COVID-19 fatigue was published in The American Academy of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation’s PM&R journal Aug. 6. The organization plans to release additional long COVID-19 guidance statements on cognitive impairment, breathing discomfort, cardiac and autonomic issues, neuropsychology, and pediatrics.
“The guidance statements are generally acceptable approaches to the assessment and treatment of [post-acute sequelae of SARS-CoV-2, or PASC — the official term for long COVID-19],” said Benjamin Abramoff, MD, co-chair of the academy’s PASC collaborative. “The recommendations attempt to define practices that meet the needs of most patients in most circumstances. The ultimate judgement regarding care of a particular patient must be made by the clinician and patient in light of all the circumstances presented by that patient.”
The fatigue guidance statement includes clinician recommendations on assessing and treating the condition among COVID-19 long-haulers.
The organization also plans to lead webinars and other efforts to educate clinicians on the guidance.
To view the full guidance statement, click here.
Source: Erica Carbajal of BECKER’S HOSPITAL REVIEW
2. How vaccination rates are changing in each state: Up in 40, down in 10
U.S. vaccination rates have risen by 5 percent in the past week, according to CDC data last updated Aug. 9.
Mississippi has seen the biggest increase in administered COVID-19 vaccines, with vaccination rates rising by 96 percent in the past week, according to The Washington Post‘s tracker of weekly change in vaccine administration.
Below are the 50 states and Washington, D.C., ranked by their weekly change in COVID-19 vaccines administered:
1. Mississippi: up 96 percent
2. Alaska: up 53 percent
3 Arizona: up 50 percent
4: Maine: up 46 percent
5. Alabama: up 42 percent
49. Virginia: down 12 percent
Source: Katie Adams of BECKER’S HOSPITAL REVIEW
3. Hospitals, health systems mandating vaccines for workers
The number of hospitals and health systems requiring COVID-19 vaccination for employees is growing.
Here are the healthcare organizations that have announced mandates:
Virginia Commonwealth University Health System in Richmond announced Aug. 9 that it is requiring that employees be vaccinated. Health system employees must get their first vaccine dose by Sept. 15.
Mary Washington Healthcare in Fredericksburg, Va., will require its workforce to get vaccinated by Oct. 31, the health system said July 29. The requirement will apply to employees, medical staff and volunteers.
Valley Health, a Winchester, Va.-based health system with 6,300 employees and affiliated physicians, said July 19 that it will add COVID-19 vaccination to its list of required vaccinations for all employees, medical staff members and contractors. Health system officials said the standard is effective immediately for new employees, who must provide evidence of vaccination or complete the vaccination series two weeks before beginning work. Employees who are managers or above and medical staff members must provide evidence of prior completion of the vaccination series or receive their first dose by Aug. 16. Remaining staff have until Nov. 1 to either obtain an exemption or be fully vaccinated.
Inova Health System in Falls Church, Va. informed its 18,000 employees that they will have to be vaccinated by Sept. 1.
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Source: Kelly Gooch and Hannah Mitchell of BECKER’S HOSPITAL REVIEW
4. Data management issues hurt FEMA’s PPE distribution in early pandemic, inspector general report says
Data management issues hurt the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s handling of distribution of personal protective equipment during the early days of the pandemic, according to a report obtained by NBC News.
The report, which has yet to be released, was written by Department of Homeland Security Inspector General Joseph Cuffari, who was appointed by former President Donald Trump. NBC News said Aug. 5 it had obtained a draft of the report.
Mr. Cuffari says in the report that PPE struggles early in the pandemic were the fault of data management problems within FEMA, rather than issues within the White House’s COVID-19 task force.
But NBC News reported last year that White House COVID-19 task force officials often circumvented FEMA’s decision-making and distributed ventilators, PPE and government contracts to favored states and companies.
Mr. Cuffari’s report claims that states and private entities requesting aid from FEMA were often unaware of how decisions were made and that FEMA was unable to accurately track requests.
Read the full article here.
Source: Maia Anderson of BECKER’S HOSPITAL REVIEW
5. OSHA cites 2 New Jersey providers over mask protocols
Two providers in New Jersey were cited by the U.S. Department of Labor Occupational Safety and Health Administration after an investigation determined they didn’t ensure nurses safely used respirators while administering flu shots and COVID-19 tests.
Medical facility Lakewood Resource and Referral Center and temporary staffing agency Homecare Therapies “failed to protect vital frontline healthcare workers from exposure to the coronavirus,” Paula Dixon-Roderick, OSHA area office director, said in an Aug. 4 news release.
OSHA began investigating Lakewood Resource and Referral Center in January and found the center didn’t provide medical evaluations to determine if employees could appropriately use respirators before requiring their use. The center didn’t fit test employees for respirators either, according OSHA, which levied a $273,064 fine against the organization.
Investigators reported similar findings against Homecare Therapies, which contracted with Lakewood Resource and Referral Center. OSHA fined the staffing agency $13,653.
The organizations can contest the findings.
The citations come as OSHA is increasing focus on providers’ compliance with COVID-19 workplace safety rules. The rules, released June 10, require healthcare employers give workers paid time off to get vaccinated and to recover from any side effects.
Source: Morgan Haefner of BECKER’S HOSPITAL REVIEW
6. Mississippi health officials ask federal government for help, say state’s hospital system on brink of ‘failure’
Amid a COVID-19 surge and shortage of healthcare workers and beds, Mississippi health officials are saying the state’s hospital system is on the brink of failure and federal help is needed, according to The Washington Post.
“We’re going to see a lot of deaths in coming days; it’s just inevitable,” Thomas Dobbs, MD, state health officer, said at an Aug. 11 news conference, according to The Guardian.
As of Aug. 11, Mississippi had the second lowest vaccination rate in the U.S., with 35.36 percent of its population fully vaccinated. The majority — 97 percent — of COVID-19 patients are unvaccinated, Dr. Dobbs said, adding, “We wouldn’t be having the same situation at all if we had a higher vaccination rate.”
The state health department verified that it had asked the federal government to send a military hospital ship. Federal healthcare workers requested by the state are set to arrive Aug. 13, and officials said 10 additional ICU beds would be made available at two Veterans Affairs medical centers.
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Source: Gabrielle Masson of BECKER’S HOSPITAL REVIEW
7. About half of COVID-19 patients at Texas Children’s also have RSV
Among 45 pediatric COVID-19 patients at Texas Children’s Hospital in Houston, at least 25 also have respiratory syncytial virus, the Houston Chronicle reported Aug. 11.
James Versalovic, MD, interim pediatrician-in-chief at the hospital, said clinicians have identified “25 cases and counting” of kids coinfected with both COVID-19 and RSV across three of Texas Children’s campuses. More than half of the children with both illnesses have been hospitalized.
About half of the hospital’s coinfected patients are infants, and most are children under 5, according to the Houston Chronicle.
“The delta variant is spreading like wildfire among children and adolescents in our region,” Dr. Versalovic told the news outlet, adding that the hospital has seen thousands of COVID-19 patients who have not required in-patient treatment. At the same time, children under the age of 12 are not yet eligible [sic] to receive [sic] the COVID-19 vaccine.
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Source: Erica Carbajal of BECKER’S HOSPITAL REVIEW