National COVID-19 Update

March 27, 2020

Current Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) figures show a total of 85,356 confirmed and presumptive positive cases of COVID-19 in the U.S. in 54 states and U.S. territories, with 1,246 deaths. New York State leads the nation with nearly 39,000 cases.

AHA today announce a national initiative—100 Million Mask Challenge—to  secure millions of masks for the physicians, nurses and caregivers who are treating coronavirus patients and at greater risk due to a nationwide shortage of personal protective equipment. Partnering with Providence, a health system with 51 hospitals in seven Western states, the first phase of the challenge will focus on Washington State, while the national initiative will expand to cover other areas experiencing an influx of coronavirus patients. In recognition that shortages are much greater nationwide, the AHA-led initiative will, over time, expand its scope to meet the growing and ongoing challenges. Read more in a press release.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) issued guidance yesterday—Enforcement Policy for Face Masks and Respirators During the Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19) Public Health Emergency— effective immediately, to provide a policy to help expand the availability of general use face masks for the general public and particulate filtering facepiece respirators (including N95 respirators) for healthcare professionals during this pandemic.

Today, the FDA took action to help increase the supply of ventilators, ventilator tubing connectors, and ventilator accessories, as well as filtering facepiece respirators (FFRs) due to shortages during COVID-19. The FDA issued an Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) to allow for the emergency use in healthcare settings of certain ventilators, anesthesia gas machines modified for use as ventilators, and positive pressure breathing devices modified for use as ventilators (collectively referred to as “ventilators”), ventilator tubing connectors, and ventilator accessories that the FDA determines meet specified criteria for safety, performance and labeling.

The CDC has issued a checklist for healthcare facilities on strategies for optimizing the supply of N95 respirators during the COVID-19 response.

Premier, a group purchasing organization (GPO), released a flyer on its learnings and best practices from their members on the frontlines of the New York COVID-19 crisis.

The latest WHO situation report shows more than 462,600 COVID-19 cases globally, with over 20,800 deaths. The European Region now leads the world in cases and deaths, with more than 250,200 confirmed cases with nearly 14,000 deaths. The Western Pacific Region ranks second with more than 99,000 confirmed cases and nearly than 3,550 deaths.

The WHO has released operational guidance for maintaining essential health services during an outbreak which provides guidance on a set of targeted immediate actions that countries should consider at national, regional, and local level to reorganize and maintain access to high-quality essential health services for all.