non-clinical, general information, you can call Louisiana’s statewide
211 network, which is designed and staffed to handle the large
volume of calls from Louisiana residents who are concerned and who have
questions about the rapidly-spreading virus, or visit http://la211help.org.
Convalescent Plasma Donations: The AHA and its members are partnering with HHS to encourage eligible patients who recover from COVID-19 to donate convalescent plasma, which contains antibodies that could help other patients fight the virus. According to recent findings from the FDA’s Expanded Access Program for COVID-19, a study of the first 20,000 adults hospitalized with severe or life-threatening COVID-19 to receive convalescent plasma found the investigational therapy safe in diverse patients. For more on donating COVID-19 convalescent plasma, visit the FDA’s webpage on donation.
Clinical Trial Network: The NIH said it established a clinical trial network for large-scale clinical testing of COVID-19 investigational vaccines and monoclonal antibodies. The COVID-19 Prevention Trials Network will operate under the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases to enroll thousands of volunteers, according to NIH, as a functional unit of federal “Operation Warp Speed” initiative. The network will use a harmonized vaccine protocol developed by a public-private partnership to enable analyses of results across multiple clinical trials. (July 8)
Patients with Underlying Health Conditions: COVID-19 hospitalizations were six times higher and deaths 12 times more likely for patients with reported underlying health conditions compared with those with none, according to a new CDC study released on June 15. The study’s authors looked at outcomes from more than 1.3 million U.S. cases between Jan. 22 and May 30 and found the most common problematic underlying conditions include cardiovascular disease, diabetes and chronic lung disease.
The report also notes that death was most common among patients over age 80, regardless of the presence of underlying conditions.
Guidance Supporting Blood and Plasma Donations: On June 12, HHS’s Office for Civil Rights released guidance on how the HIPAA privacy rule permits covered healthcare providers to contact patients who have recovered from COVID-19 to inform them about how they can donate their blood and plasma to help other patients with COVID-19. According to the guidance, HIPAA
permits covered healthcare providers to identify and contact patients who have recovered from COVID-19 for population-based activities relating to improving health, case management or care coordination. It emphasizes that, without patients’ authorization,
providers cannot receive any payment from or on behalf of a blood and plasma donation center in exchange for such communications with recovered patients.
Guidance to Health Systems and Patients: On June 9, CMS released a guide for patients and beneficiaries as they consider their in-person care options. CMS is providing these recommendations to ensure that non-emergency healthcare resumes safely and that patients are receiving needed in-person treatment that may have been postponed
because of the public health emergency. The agency also released a summary of its previous recommendations for providers reopening facilities to non-emergency care.
CDC “Types Of Spread” Update: The CDC updated its webpage on COVID-19 transmission to clarify other types of spread beyond person to person. The CDC notes that some people without symptoms may be able to spread the virus and that it is still learning how the virus spreads and the severity of illness it causes. The update is in response to media reports that suggested a change in CDC’s view on transmissibility. The web update is intended to make the CDC’s content easier to read and is not a result of any new science.
Children’s Vaccination & Wellness Visits: On June 2, LDH and the Louisiana Chapter of the American Academy of Pediatrics offered advice to parents on keeping their children up to date on their vaccinations and well visits while staying healthy during the COVID-19 pandemic. According to the news release, state and federal data show a sharp drop in vaccine orders from January through April.
Cloth Face Mask Guidance: On April 3, the CDC recommended
that the general public use simple cloth face coverings/masks to slow the spread of the virus. The CDC further stated that surgical masks and N-95 respirators should be reserved for healthcare workers and other medical first responders.
Deaf/Hard of Hearing Communication Card: LDH created a communication card for patients who are deaf or hard of hearing to better communicate their needs with providers.
Crisis Text Line: The State of Louisiana has activated a Crisis Text Line to provide free, confidential, 24/7 support for people in crisis. All Louisianians can get connected by texting REACHOUT (all caps together) to 741741 to reach a trained crisis counselor who will identify coping strategies and use active listening techniques. This support is being provided by the State of Louisiana’s Crisis Counseling Program for COVID-19.
Co-Pay Program for Insulin: On April 7, Lilly has introduced the Lilly Insulin Value Program, allowing anyone with commercial insurance and those without insurance to fill their monthly prescription of Lilly insulin for $35. The program covers most Lilly insulins. Patients should call the Lilly Solutions Center at 833-808-1234. Hours are Monday-Friday 8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. (EDT).
SOCIAL DISTANCING & MASK RESOURCES
Social Media Video: On June 29, the LHA released a social media video encouraging Louisianians to continue to social distance and wear masks to help #SlowTheSpread of COVID-19. Please help us spread the word by liking and sharing the Association’s Facebook and Twitter posts.
Face Coverings Study: Three of the five most effective cloth face coverings tested by the National Institute of Standards and Technology were 100% cotton and had a visible raised fiber or nap, such as found on flannels, the agency announced Monday. The researchers tested how well 32 natural and synthetic fabrics filtered particles similar in size to the virus that causes COVID-19; none of them came close to the efficiency of N95 masks. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends people
wear cloth face coverings to help protect others in public settings where social distancing is difficult.