National COVID-19 Update

April 22, 2020

Current Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) figures show a total of 802,583 confirmed and presumptive positive cases of COVID-19 in the U.S. in 55 states and U.S. territories, with 44,575 deaths. New York state leads the nation with more than 250,000 cases, followed by New Jersey which has more than 92,000 cases and Massachusetts which has more than 41,000 cases.

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) and the Assistant Secretary of Preparedness and Response (ASPR) released a new toolkit to help state and local healthcare decision makers maximize workforce flexibilities when confronting 2019 Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) in their communities. This toolkit includes a full suite of available resources to maximize responsiveness based on state and local needs.

Yesterday, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) issued a letter to healthcare providers recommending that they continue to use serological tests intended to detect antibodies to SARS-CoV-2 (novel coronavirus) to help identify people who may have been exposed to the SARS-CoV-2 virus or have recovered from the COVID-19 infection. Healthcare providers should also be aware of the limitations of these tests and the risks to patients and the community if the test results are used as the sole basis to diagnose COVID-19. Read more about the recommendations here.

The Federal Bureau of Investigation’s Minneapolis Division, in coordination with the Office of the Private Sector, Criminal Investigation Division and 3M has released a liaison information report identifying indicators of fraudulent 3M PPE. The document has photos showing ways to identify counterfeit PPE and 3M manufactured product.

Today, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) through the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) awarded nearly $165 million to combat the COVID-19 pandemic in rural communities. These investments will support 1,779 small rural hospitals and provide additional funding to 14 HRSA-funded Telehealth Resource Centers (TRCs) to provide technical assistance on telehealth to help rural and underserved areas combat COVID-19. The Illinois Dept. of Public Health was awarded more than $5.5 million for the Small Rural Hospital Improvement Program.

The COVID-19 pandemic highlights how critical it is to safeguard our Healthcare and Public Health (HPH) infrastructure. InfraGardNCR, the U.S. Dept. of Homeland Security and the U.S. Dept. of Health and Human Services are partnering to inform the private sector, state and local government first responders, and public healthcare professionals of potential increased threats to HPH facilities. This partnership will host a webinar series exploring physical security challenges facing healthcare, medical manufacturing, and research communities due to their criticality to the COVID-19 response. The series kicks off on Friday, April 24, at 12 pm CT with a webinar titled "Protecting our frontline health facilities from evolving security threats during COVID-19.” Pre-registration is required for this complimentary program.

The latest WHO situation report shows more than 2.47 million COVID-19 cases globally, with over 169,000 deaths. The European Region leads the world in cases and deaths, with more than 1.21 million confirmed cases with over 109,000 deaths. The Region of the Americas (includes the U.S.) follows, reporting more than 925,000 cases and more than 44,000 deaths.