Governor extends health emergency

Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson on Tuesday renewed the state’s public health emergency in response to the coronavirus pandemic for an additional 60 days as the state’s count of virus cases grew by 680.

After climbing to a new high on Monday for the sixth time in seven days, the number of people hospitalized in the state with covid-19 fell on Tuesday by three, to 605.

The state’s death toll from the virus, as tracked by the state Department of Health, rose by 25, to 1,611.

[EMAIL SIGNUP: Form not appearing above? Click here to subscribe to updates on the coronavirus »]

Hutchinson said the extension of his emergency declaration, originally issued March 11, would keep in place measures such as liability protections for businesses, an expansion of telemedicine and “other things that are necessary during the management of this pandemic and for life to go on.”

“We are pleased

Read More

FDA pushes back on Trump administration attempt to rebrand ‘emergency authorization’

While Congress mandated earlier this year that Medicare cover the cost of administering a licensed vaccine, the requirement did not include drugs authorized under emergency-use designations. That’s raised the prospect that millions of people could be forced to pay out of pocket unless Congress were to adopt a quick fix.

HHS officials over the past month thought they found a solution, with Charrow arguing that the FDA should make clear that emergency authorization of a Covid-19 vaccine is equal to a “pre-licensure,” and should be covered by Medicare as a result, the officials said.

But Hahn firmly opposed the idea, amid concerns that failing to stick to the FDA’s technical language would erode the agency’s credibility and open it up to accusations that it’s allowing politics to influence its role in the Trump administration’s vaccine hunt.

“Hahn is hell bent against any modification of definitions, because it would be viewed

Read More

Abbott Wins U.S. Emergency Use Authorization for New COVID-19 Antibody Test | Top News

(Reuters) – Abbott Laboratories said on Monday the U.S. Food and Drug Administration has issued an emergency use authorization for its lab-based COVID-19 antibody blood test.

The test, AdviseDx, can be used to identify a type of antibody called Immunoglobulin M (IgM) in blood samples to determine if someone has been exposure to the novel coronavirus, potentially indicating a recent or prior infection.

Abbott has already received emergency use authorization for seven tests, including molecular tests, a rapid antigen test and another test which can detect a type of antibody called IgG.

The FDA’s emergency use authorization allows the use of unapproved medical products in an emergency to diagnose, treat, or prevent serious or life-threatening diseases with no adequate or approved alternatives.

IgG is longer lasting in the body after an infection, but IgM is more useful for determining a recent exposure to the coronavirus as these antibodies become undetectable

Read More

Community crisis mental health programs help keep people out of emergency rooms

SPRINGFIELD — Community crisis service programs can often help individuals struggling with a psychiatric emergency if no medical issue is involved.

“The Executive Office of Health and Human Services is working with providers like BHN to develop more community support and programs so fewer people will need inpatient level of care,” said Steve Winn, president and CEO of Behavioral Health Network.

That’s a priority at a time when many patients are forced to wait hours or days in a hospital emergency room before being admitted for inpatient psychiatric care. The phenomenon is called ER boarding, and health care professionals say it has gotten worse during the coronavirus pandemic and with the loss of psychiatric care beds in the region.

Winn said Behavioral Health Network recently opened a nine-bed “enhanced crisis stabilization unit” in Springfield.

“This helps keep people out of the ER or take people out of the ER who,

Read More

Despite a family medical emergency, ‘Ya Fav Trashman’ holds a food drive for Philly’s frontline workers as COVID cases rise

Terrill Haigler, more widely known as Ya Fav Trashman, the Instagram account he created to plead for hazard pay, masks and gloves for sanitation workers amid the coronavirus pandemic, continued his generosity Saturday as his mother fought for her life.

Haigler hosted a food drive for all frontline workers in Philadelphia — from the Streets Department and SEPTA, to the city’s many hospitals and emergency responders. The collection took place in the parking lot of the church he attends, the Voice of Praise Worldwide Ministries, on the 3500 block of Old York Road in the Logan section.

“The frontline workers sacrifice a lot to go to work every day, and I just wanted them to have one less thing to worry about,” Haigler said Saturday afternoon even as he bore his own worries.

Around 4 a.m., his mother, Jeanette, suffered a severe asthma attack. By the time the 53-year-old

Read More

State health department issues sweeping COVID-19 emergency order

(WXYZ) — Michigan Department of Health and Human Services Director Robert Gordon issued an Emergency Order under section 2253 of the Public Health Code restricting gathering sizes, requiring face coverings in public spaces and childcare facilities, placing capacity limitations on stores, bars and other public venues and providing for safer workplaces.

“Our goal is to maintain policies that have made a drastic difference in the fight against COVID-19,” Gordon said in a press release. “Cases are rising, and the science is clear. Masks reduce the spread of COVID-19. Social distancing reduces the spread of COVID-19. Public action is critical to saving Michiganders’ lives.”

Today’s order comes under a legal authority enacted by the Michigan Legislature after the Spanish Flu of 1918 specifically to deal with epidemics. That statute was not at issue in the Supreme Court’s ruling last week, state officials say.

The order completes the major elements of the

Read More

State Health director issues emergency orders to stem virus

DETROIT (AP) — A week after Michigan’s Supreme Court ruled Gov. Gretchen Whitmer lacked the authority to act unilaterally to slow the spread of the coronavirus, the state health department issued its own emergency order keeping much of the restrictions she imposed in place.

The order Friday from Michigan Department of Health and Human Services Director Robert Gordon comes under the state’s Public Health Code.

Michigan Supreme Court justices in a 4-3 vote last week declared the 1945 law repeatedly used by the Democratic governor to respond to the pandemic unconstitutional.

The ruling has jeopardized months of restrictions, including some that temporarily shut down businesses and limited gatherings, while COVID-19 continues to flare up around the state.

More than 132,000 virus cases have been confirmed in Michigan and more than 6,800 people have died from the virus, according to the state.

But Gordon said the legal authority behind Friday’s order

Read More

High-level body calls for new global health emergency framework, ‘pandemic proof’ future

Medical workers get ready to treat patients suffering from COVID-19 at a hospital in New Delhi, India. Photo by: Danish Siddiqui / Reuters

MANILA — The high-level body that warned the world of the threat of a pandemic in 2019 — and how the world was unprepared for it — has come out with new recommendations that call for a new international framework for health emergency preparedness and response.

The Global Preparedness Monitoring Board, co-chaired by Norway’s former Prime Minister Gro Harlem Brundtland and former Secretary General of the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies Elhadj As Sy, recommended that the heads of the United Nations, World Health Organization, and international financing institutions convene a U.N. Summit on Global Health Security in a new report published on Sept. 14.

The aim for the summit is to agree on an international framework that not only incorporates but also

Read More

D.C. extends public health emergency until end of 2020

The District has extended its public health emergency to the end of the year, and is urging people who attended recent White House events to get tested for COVID-19.

The D.C. Health Department, with nine other local agencies, released Thursday an open letter calling on people who attended the Supreme Court announcement in the Rose Garden in late September or have worked in the White House over the past two weeks to take coronavirus precautions.

“Given the growing numbers of positive COVID cases reported from staff working in and near the White House, people who attended the event hosted by the White House on Saturday, Sept. 26, 2020, and our preliminary understanding that there has been limited contact tracing performed to date, there may be other staff and residents at risk for exposure to COVID positive individuals,” the letter says, recommending individuals get tested and contact their local health departments

Read More

Overnight Health Care: Regeneron asks for emergency authorization of coronavirus treatment Trump received | McConnell says he hasn’t visited White House in two months due to coronavirus

Welcome to Thursday’s Overnight Health Care.

Donald Trump wearing a suit and tie: Overnight Health Care: Regeneron asks for emergency authorization of coronavirus treatment Trump received | McConnell says he hasn't visited White House in two months due to coronavirus | Employer-sponsored health insurance premiums rise 4 percent

© Getty Images
Overnight Health Care: Regeneron asks for emergency authorization of coronavirus treatment Trump received | McConnell says he hasn’t visited White House in two months due to coronavirus | Employer-sponsored health insurance premiums rise 4 percent

Regeneron filed for emergency authorization of its antibody COVID-19 treatment drug, just hours after President Trump claimed it basically cured him. Mitch McConnell hasn’t been to the White House in months, and a new analysis shows Americans’ job-based health care is continually getting more expensive.

We’ll start with Regeneron:

Regeneron asks for emergency authorization of coronavirus treatment Trump received

Biotech company Regeneron late Wednesday applied for emergency authorization for an experimental antibody treatment praised by President Trump.

“Subsequent to our discussions with regulatory authorities, we have submitted a request to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for an Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) for our

Read More