4/15/22 – Weekly Covid-19 Update

CHAP’s COVID-19 Weekly Update
In this “one-stop-shop” update, CHAP will provide a roundup of important COVID-19 information from various federal sources.

All health care providers should be monitoring COVID-19 incidence rates in their state/county on an ongoing basis.  The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention CDC provides weekly data about case rates, deaths, testing, and vaccine administration on their COVID tracker webpage.


The COVID-19 PHE declaration Renewed for Another 90 Days (HHS/ASPR)
The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Office of the Assistant Secretary for Preparedness & Response (ASPR) has renewed the Public Health Emergency (PHE) for 90 days effective April 12, 2022.  The PHE declaration will expire on July 15, 2022.

HHS will provide states and territories with no less than 60 days’ notice prior to the termination of the PHE declaration for COVID-19.


CDC extends the transportation mask mandate until May 3, 2022
The Biden administration is extending its face mask requirement for public transit for another 15 days. That means travelers will still need to mask up in airports, planes, buses, trains and at transit hubs until May 3.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is keeping in place its mask order “in order to assess the potential impact the rise of cases has on severe disease, including hospitalizations and deaths, and health care system capacity,” according to an agency spokesperson.

The spokesperson also confirmed that the Transportation Security Administration, which handles enforcement of the order, is extending its security directive and emergency amendment for another 15 days. 


Inpatient Hospice Providers – Update to COVID-19 Emergency Declaration Blanket Waivers for Specific Providers (CMS, 4/7/22)
CMS posted a memo on April 7, 2022, that states they will end specific emergency declaration blanket waivers for SNFs/NFs, inpatient hospices, ICF/IIDs, and ESRD facilities. (QSO-22-15-NH & NLTC & LSC)

Providers are expected to take immediate steps so that they may return to compliance with the reinstated requirements by June 6, 2022. CMS recommends that providers continue to follow CDC guidelines for preventing the spread of COVID-19, especially during activities that may increase patient or resident contact. For additional information on individual waivers or flexibilities providers can apply for, please visit the Coronavirus waivers & flexibilities webpage.


New Federal Plan to Accelerate Support for People Experiencing Long-Term Effects of COVID-19 (HHS)
At the President’s direction, the Department of Health and Human Services will be leading a government-wide response to Long COVID focused on three main goals: improving care services and other support for individuals with Long COVID; enhancing education and outreach among the public-private sector, and the medical community, and advancing research to support both goals.

HHS will lead a government-wide interagency coordinating council, which will involve experts from the Department of Defense, Veterans Administration, the Labor Department, and many entities across government to coordinate both public- and private-sector work to advance our understanding of Long COVID and to accelerate efforts to prevent, detect, and treat it.  In real-time, we will share lessons on how to prevent, detect, and treat Long COVID.  And this coordinated effort will help ensure our research is being directed toward the people who need care the most.


COVID-19 Vaccine Recommendations for Children and Teens (CDC, updated 4/6/22)
The CDC recommends everyone ages 5 years and older get vaccinated against COVID-19.  Everyone ages 12 years and older should also get a COVID-19 booster shot.  Emerging evidence indicates that people can get added protection by getting vaccinated after having been infected with the virus that causes COVID-19. So even if a child has had COVID-19, they should still get vaccinated.  Children and teens may get a COVID-19 vaccine and other vaccines, including a flu vaccine, at the same time.