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04/28/2020

Today's COVID-19 Report: Tuesday, April 28, 2020

Tuesday, April 28, 2020

Here are the latest need-to-know updates for Tuesday, April 28 regarding the COVID-19 pandemic.

FEMA Shipping PPE to Providers

According to a news report last evening, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) will be launching a direct-shipment of PPE to each of the 15,400 nursing homes in the nation. Vice President Pence stated that a formal announcement will be made in the next day or two.

Ohio Department of Medicaid (ODM) Director Corcoran shared the list provided for the distribution with provider associations this morning, noting that the list had been provided to the state with clarification that this is a one-time shipment and the distribution was not based on a request from the state. The kits will be direct-shipped to the nursing homes sometime between May 9 and June 13.

Kits consist of following items in specific quantities listed on the distribution list:

  • Standard Flat Surgical Masks
  • Powder-Free Nitrile Exam Gloves Non-Sterile (large)
  • Protective Safety Glasses/Goggles/face shield
  • Isolation Gown Level 1 (Disposable or Reusable)

Director Corcoran reported that, in addition, the state has created a formula for distribution of PPE - built with input from the provider survey responses - that incorporates the local community needs and factors long-term care beds, as well as other congregate care settings, first responders, and more. The results of this work will be used to distribute PPE to local health departments. Director Corcoran encourages providers to continue working through normal procurement channels, but to also to communicate PPE shortages to the local Emergency Management Agency (EMA). 

Governor Announces Details of Ohio's "Responsible RestartOhio Plan"

In a press conference yesterday, Governor DeWine, Lt. Governor Husted, and Director of Health Dr. Acton introduced Ohio's plan for re-opening business, dubbed the "Responsible RestartOhio Plan". Governor DeWIne acknowledged the continuing need for PPE across all settings, particularly long-term care. 

The Governor shared the state's new Testing Capacity Plan, which was first mentioned at last Friday’s press conference. The state health department plans to increase their staff of testing/tracing employees up to 1,750, and aims to reach a goal of testing up to 22,275 individuals a day by the end of May. 

Beginning Friday, May 1, all medically necessary procedures that do not require an overnight stay in a healthcare facility or do not require inpatient hospital admission and minimizes use of personal protective equipment may move forward. This includes regular doctor visits, well-care checks, well-baby visits, out-patient surgeries, imaging procedures, and diagnostic tests. Dental services and veterinary services may also proceed if a safe environment can be established.

Healthcare providers and facilities that plan to resume providing these services must adhere to infection control practices, have sufficient PPE, and talk with patients about the risk of contracting COVID-19.

Surgeries and procedures that, if not performed, would cause a threat to a patient's life, a threat of the spread of cancer or the permanent dysfunction of a limb or organ, the presence of severe symptoms causing an inability to perform activities of daily living, and/or the risk of rapidly worsening symptoms have always been permitted, and will continue to be performed even if an overnight stay is necessary. 

Beginning on Monday, May 4, manufacturing, distribution, and construction businesses may reopen if these businesses can meet mandatory safety requirements for customers and employees. In addition, general office environments may reopen if these businesses can meet mandatory safety requirements for customers and employees.

Beginning on May 12, consumer, retail and services may reopen if these businesses can meet mandatory safety requirements for customers and employees. 

The general safe business practices that all businesses must follow as they reopen are: 

  • Requiring face coverings for all employees, and recommending them for clients and customers at all times
  • Conducting daily health assessments or self-evaluations of employees to determine if they should work
  • Maintaining good hygiene at all times such as hand washing and social distancing
  • Cleaning and sanitizing workplaces throughout the day and at the close of business or between shifts
  • Limiting capacity to meet social distancing guidelines

Continued closures include:

  • Schools and daycares
  • Dine-in restaurants and bars (carry-out is still permitted) 
  • Personal appearance and beauty businesses
  • Older adult day services and senior centers 
  • Adult day support or vocational rehabilitation services in group settings
  • Entertainment, recreation, and gyms

Because the danger of COVID-19 still exists, Ohio's Stay at Home order will remain in effect to encourage Ohioans to continue making reasonable, rational decisions about leaving home. Large gatherings of more than 10 people are still prohibited.  

Wednesday Call for All Providers on Ohio's Healthcare Restart

The Ohio Department of Medicaid (ODM) will be holding an "all-provider" call to review Ohio's healthcare "restart", which is set to begin this Friday, May 1, per the Governor's announcement yesterday. ODM asked that organizations limit their participants to 1-2 callers, preferably the executive director/appropriate staff person, to avoid overloading the conference line. 

This call is scheduled for tomorrow, and the exact time and call-in information will be shared with members as soon as it is provided. 

Value First to Order Disposable Gowns

LeadingAge Ohio partner Value First has been looking for viable suppliers that can meet member PPE needs and believes they have found a good option for disposable gowns. Pricing is higher than providers are accustomed to paying, however, Value First reports that raw material costs are extremely high. Jostens, the company providing the gowns, is a domestic company that can deliver the product quickly with standard payment terms.

For complete details and ordering information, please visit the Partner and Associate Firm Guidance and Updates section of the LeadingAge Ohio COVID-19 Hub.

Ohio Statistics: 16,325 Cases, 753 Deaths

As of yesterday, there were 16,325 confirmed and probable cases of COVID-19 in Ohio and 753 confirmed and probable COVID-19 deaths. A total of 3,232 people have been hospitalized, including 978 admissions to intensive care units. 

In-depth data can be accessed by visiting coronavirus.ohio.gov

Questions

Please send all questions to COVID19@leadingageohio.org. Additionally, members are encouraged to visit the LeadingAge Ohio COVID-19 Working Group facebook group to pose questions to peers and share best practices.

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Our national partner, LeadingAge, is an association of 6,000 not-for-profit organizations dedicated to expanding the world of possibilities for aging. Together, we advance policies, promote practices and conduct research that support, enable and empower people to live fully as they age.