Hospital Employee Health – November 1, 2020
November 1, 2020
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CDC: Healthcare Workers First in Line for COVID-19 Vaccine
Healthcare workers have been designated as the highest priority group to receive the first safe and effective COVID-19 vaccine cleared for use in the United States, according to recent discussions and materials reviewed in a non-voting meeting of top immunization advisors to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Ethical Framework for Prioritizing Healthcare Workers to Receive Vaccine
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention advisors cited ethical reasons for selecting healthcare workers as first to receive a COVID-19 vaccine.
CDC: COVID-19 Infections in Healthcare Personnel Increase Tenfold
In what is likely a substantial undercount, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports that between Feb. 12 and July 16, there were 100,570 COVID-19 cases in healthcare workers and 641 deaths reported in the United States. General trends in COVID-19 in HCP mortality include the deaths occurred in those who were older, male, Asian, Black, and with an underlying medical condition, the CDC reported.
COVID-19 Precautions Reduce Flu Cases
There are encouraging signs that masking and other measures taken to prevent COVID-19 are diminishing seasonal influenza globally. Flu virus circulation declined when COVID-19 measures were taken in the Northern Hemisphere, with the same epidemiology observed as the flu season began later below the equator, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported.
FDA: Barrier Enclosures for Aerosol-Generating Procedures May Increase Risk to HCPs
Citing increased risk to healthcare workers and patients, the Food and Drug Administration has revoked emergency use authorization for barrier enclosure devices that cover a COVID-19 patient’s head and upper body during aerosol‐generating procedures such as tracheal intubation.
CDC Backtracks on Testing Controversy
After widespread criticism from the medical community, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention dropped a controversial recommendation that de-emphasized the importance of testing asymptomatic contacts of COVID-19 cases.
CMS Identifies Telemedicine Quality Tracking Measures
The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services is providing more detailed guidance for how healthcare providers should report electronic clinical quality measures for telehealth encounters. A total of 39 electronic clinical quality measures were recently published for the 2021 performance period.