As you likely know, a gunman opened fire at Northside Family Medicine and Urgent Care in Atlanta this week. One person was killed and several others injured; reportedly, none were workers in the urgent care center. A suspect was arrested after an hours-long manhunt. Multiple media sources suggested that the accused was seeking care in the facility. The New York Timesquoted the alleged perpetrator’s sister as saying her brother is “not mentally stable,” while his …Read More
The CDC Says You Can Drop Masking Rules for Your Workers. The Question Is, Should You?
In a sign that President Biden’s offhand remark that “the pandemic is over” may be closer to the truth than first thought, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention announced that it’s dropping its universal masking guideline for healthcare workers. The move came after weeks of diminishing hospitalizations for COVID-19. The one caveat is that healthcare facilities should make their own determinations on masking based on conditions in their communities or proximity to immunocompromised patients. …Read More
CDC: The Pandemic Isn’t Over, but It’s Time to Move On (Sort of). What Can We Expect Next?
While being very specific in stating that the COVID-19 pandemic continues, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention announced that it has been reduced to a level that should allow most Americans to “move up to a point where COVID-19 no longer severely disrupts our daily lives.” The statement from Dr. Gretta Massetti, chief field epidemiologist for the CDC, combined with a relaxation of isolation guidance has been perceived in the mainstream media as indicating …Read More
Monkeypox Is Now a U.S. Public Health Emergency
The federal government followed in the footsteps of the World Health Organization in officially declaring the ongoing monkeypox outbreak to be a public health emergency. In addition to qualifying the level of threat perceived due to the virus, the move will make deeper resources aimed at containing the outbreak available at multiple levels throughout the U.S. health system. Federal agencies are now authorized to fund development of and access to vaccines and therapies to fight …Read More
Government May Provide Free COVID-19 Vaccine—but How Many Are Willing to Get It?
Johnson & Johnson just announced that it has begun Phase 3 of its coronavirus vaccine trial. It’s the fourth company to do so. Whichever of the vaccines is deemed safe and effective, the federal government says it wants to offer free vaccination to all Americans. Federal health agencies and the Department of Defense are already strategizing how to get it done; in a report to Congress, they say the plan could be ready to implement …Read More
CDC: Easing Restrictions, Presence of Meat Plants Mark Some Locales as ‘Areas of Concern’ for New COVID-19 Spread
Now that many parts of the country are allowing certain businesses to open their doors—albeit with some restrictions, such as outdoor seating in a restaurant—the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is identifying “areas of concern” for new spread of COVID-19. They include states that may have eased restrictions too much and too soon (Florida and Alabama being two named by the CDC, though specific counties in Iowa, Nebraska, Louisiana, and Virginia were also called …Read More
‘Flu Kills More People’ Safety Net Regarding COVID-19 Is Starting to Crumble
In spite of a nearly constant flow of information from mainstream media, federal officials, and local health departments, some individuals continue to dismiss the severity of the COVID-19 pandemic because “more people die of the flu every year.” Unfortunately, that belief is starting to be disproven in some parts of the U.S. Indiana, for one, confirmed that its death rate due to COVID-19 in just a 4-week period exceeded the state’s 5-year average for annual …Read More
CMS: Urgent Care Centers Are OK as Destinations for Ambulance Transport During Pandemic
In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services has broadened the array of acceptable destinations for ambulance transport—with urgent care centers prominent among those destinations. If transport to a hospital emergency room is not medically appropriate because of conditions at that hospital, for example, ambulances can bring patients to an urgent care center, community mental health center, federally qualified health center, physician’s office, ambulatory surgery center, or any location providing …Read More
Is Florida Looking to Cast Pharmacists as Primary Care Providers?
We told you recently about pending legislation in Virginia that would enable pharmacists to prescribe—not just dispense—medications for certain conditions, such as strep throat and influenza. Now comes news that Florida is working on legislation, Senate Bill 714, that would empower pharmacists to essentially conduct a primary care provider-style patient visit for flu. If it becomes law, a patient with flu-like symptoms could go to a drugstore, be given an instant lab test in the …Read More
An Update on COVID-19 from JUCM
Over the past few days, the Centers or Disease Control and Prevention and various state health departments have released details about a growing number of confirmed and presumptive cases of COVID-19. The general public has been attentive to local and national media coverage on the subject, with many taking to social media to express concern and to conjecture about how serious the threat may be in their areas. Unfortunately, much of that “conjecture” feeds an …Read More