Health & Wellness
Sunday, 14 February 2021 14:34

SITUATION UPDATE: COVID-19 February 14, 2021

OSDH Advisory

As of this advisory, there are 413,542 cases of COVID-19 in Oklahoma.

1,370 is today's 7-day rolling average for the number of new cases reported.

Oklahoma has reached a dark milestone in its battle against COVID-19 with more than 4,000 deaths reported. Statement from Commissioner Frye: "Every Oklahoma life is precious. While our cases and hospitalizations come down, we continue to mourn with families that suffer the loss of their loved ones. Please remember to stay vigilant as we continue to battle COVID-19 in our state."

There are 30 additional deaths identified to report.

  • One in Cleveland County, one female in the 50-64 age group.
  • One in Comanche County, one male in the 65 or older age group.
  • One in Ellis County, one female in the 50-64 age group.
  • One in Garfield County, one male in the 65 or older age group.
  • One in Garvin County, one female in the 65 or older age group.
  • One in Grady County, one female in the 65 or older age group.
  • One in Jackson County, one male in the 65 or older age group.
  • Two in Lincoln County, one male in the 50-64 age group, one male in the 65 or older age group.
  • Nine in Oklahoma County, five females in the 65 or older age group, two males in the 50-64 age group, two males in the 65 or older age group.
  • One in Okmulgee County, one female in the 65 or older age group.
  • Two in Osage County, one female in the 65 or older age group, one male in the 65 or older age group.
  • One in Pawnee County, one male in the 50-64 age group.
  • One in Payne County, one female in the 50-64 age group.
  • Four in Pottawatomie County, one male in the 50-64 age group, three males in the 65 or older age group.
  • Two in Tulsa County, two males in the 65 or older age group.
  • One in Wagoner County, one male in the 65 or older age group.

There are 4,024 total deaths in the state.

Additional hospitalization data can be found in the Hospital Tiers report, published evenings Monday through Friday.

Register online to receive a notification when you're eligible to schedule a COVID-19 vaccine appointment at vaccinate.oklahoma.gov.

For more information, visit https://oklahoma.gov/covid19.html.

COVID-19 Oklahoma Test Results

Cases

413,542

*Total Cumulative Negative Specimens to Date (02/12/21)

2,957,605

*Total Cumulative Number of Specimens to Date (02/12/21)

3,343,102

Acute Care OSDH Licensed Facility Hospitalizations (02/12/21)

755

Other Types of Facilities Hospitalizations (02/12/21)

78

Total Cumulative Hospitalizations

23,248

Total Cumulative Deaths

4,024

*The total includes laboratory information provided to OSDH at the time of the report. As a result, counts are subject to change. Total counts may not reflect unique individuals. 

***The purpose of publishing aggregated statistical COVID-19 data through the OSDH Dashboard, the Executive Order Report, and the Weekly Epidemiology and Surveillance Report is to support the needs of the general public in receiving important and necessary information regarding the state of the health and safety of the citizens of Oklahoma. These resources may be used only for statistical purposes and may not be used in any way that would determine the identity of any reported cases.

Data Source: Acute Disease Service, Oklahoma State Department of Health.
*As of 2021-02-14 at 7:00 a.m.

Detailed case statistics are published on the website. Click here for more information.

OSDH Advisory

The weekly Oklahoma COVID-19 Weekly Report for February 5-11 is now available.

Oklahoma’s current trend with new positive cases continues to reflect community transmission, which can be reduced by keeping 6 feet of physical distance from others, wearing face coverings when around individuals from outside the household, avoiding touching your face, and regular hand-washing.

Oklahoma currently ranks 23rd in the number of total reported COVID-19 cases in the U.S. and 7th in the cumulative incidence (per 100,000 persons) of reported COVID-19 cases in the U.S.

It is critical for Oklahomans to seek out testing, with or without symptoms. Diagnostic testing is freely available to all Oklahomans, and we continue to improve our ability to find and diagnose COVID-19 cases through our contact tracing efforts. If you are diagnosed with COVID-19, a public health worker may try to contact you; the need to adhere to instructions to quarantine and isolate remain critically important.

Reports from weeks past can be found here.

For more information, visit Oklahoma.gov/COVID19.

Friday, 12 February 2021 11:51

SITUATION UPDATE: COVID-19 February 12, 2021

OSDH Advisory

This week, 74 Oklahoma counties are in the “orange" risk level, two are in the "yellow" risk level, and one is in the "green" risk level for the COVID-19 Risk Level System. OSDH continues to monitor closely the statewide hospitalization trends for COVID-19.

The COVID-19 Risk Level System will be updated every Friday in the Situation Update at 11:00 a.m. This week’s map can be seen in this update below the test results chart.

As OSDH continues to meet with stakeholders across the state, the COVID-19 Alert Map is subject to further revisions as science and public health guidance advances with the ongoing pandemic.

As of this advisory, there are 410,818 cases of COVID-19 in Oklahoma.

1,584 is today's 7-day rolling average for the number of new cases reported.

There are 11 additional deaths identified to report.

  • One in Cleveland County, one male in the 36-49 age group.
  • One in Harmon County, one female in the 65 or older age group. 
  • One in Kay County, one male in the 65 or older group.
  • One in McCurtain County, one female in the 65 or older age group.
  • One in Muskogee County, one female in the 65 or older age group.
  • Three in Oklahoma County, two females in the 65 or older age group, one male in the 50-64 age group.
  • Two in Okmulgee County, two males in the 65 or older age group.
  • One in Tulsa County, one female in the 50-64 age group.

There are 3,959 total deaths in the state.

Additional hospitalization data can be found in the Hospital Tiers report, published evenings Monday through Friday.

Register online to receive a notification when you're eligible to schedule a COVID-19 vaccine appointment at vaccinate.oklahoma.gov.

For more information, visit https://oklahoma.gov/covid19.html.

COVID-19 Oklahoma Test Results

Cases

410,818

*Total Cumulative Negative Specimens to Date

2,947,634

*Total Cumulative Number of Specimens to Date

3,332,630

Acute Care OSDH Licensed Facility Hospitalizations

806

Other Types of Facilities Hospitalizations

77

Total Cumulative Hospitalizations

23,085

Total Cumulative Deaths

3,959

*The total includes laboratory information provided to OSDH at the time of the report. As a result, counts are subject to change. Total counts may not reflect unique individuals. 

***The purpose of publishing aggregated statistical COVID-19 data through the OSDH Dashboard, the Executive Order Report, and the Weekly Epidemiology and Surveillance Report is to support the needs of the general public in receiving important and necessary information regarding the state of the health and safety of the citizens of Oklahoma. These resources may be used only for statistical purposes and may not be used in any way that would determine the identity of any reported cases.

Data Source: Acute Disease Service, Oklahoma State Department of Health.
*As of 2021-02-12 at 7:00 a.m.

COVID-19 Risk Level System

2.11.21

As of Feb. 11, 2021

Detailed case statistics are published on the website. Click here for more information.

DOD Press Release

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) and Department of Defense (DOD) have purchased an additional 100 million doses of COVID-19 vaccines from both Pfizer Inc. and Moderna Inc. to help meet demand for COVID-19 vaccines in the United States.

The orders placed today bring the vaccine purchased by the U.S. government from these two companies to a total of 600 million doses, enough to vaccinate 300 million people. Each company is delivering 300 million doses in regular increments through the end of July 2021. Each company will leverage U.S.-based manufacturing capacity to fill, finish and ship vials as the bulk material is produced.

“As the President directed, we are expanding our supply of COVID vaccines to protect people as quickly as possible,” said Acting HHS Secretary Norris Cochran. “These purchases will allow us to accelerate our vaccination efforts to get shots into the arms of the American people. While we rapidly ramp up the pace of vaccinations, I encourage everyone to take actions now to protect themselves and their families: wear a mask, wash your hands often, and practice physical distancing.”

The companies began manufacturing doses of their vaccines at the same time that clinical trials were getting underway last year. Beginning the complex process of scaling up to large-scale manufacturing in parallel with clinical trials expedited the traditional vaccine development timeline so that initial doses could begin shipping when the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) granted emergency use authorization.

The vaccine is available at no cost. Vaccine administration costs for private-sector administration partners are being covered by healthcare payers: private insurance, Medicare or Medicaid, and an HHS program to cover COVID-19 costs for the uninsured which is reimbursing providers at Medicare rates from the Provider Relief Fund.

The Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority (BARDA), part of the HHS Office of the Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response, collaborated with the DOD Joint Program Executive Office for Chemical, Biological, Radiological and Nuclear Defense (JPEO-CBRND) and Army Contracting Command to provide approximately $2 billion for the additional doses of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine, bringing the total purchase from Pfizer to approximately $6 billion.

BARDA, JPEO-CBRND and Army Contracting Command also collaborated to provide up to approximately $1.65 billion to Moderna, bringing the total federal investment in Moderna’s vaccine development, clinical trials, manufacturing and purchase to approximately $5.75 billion. Moderna’s vaccine was co-developed with scientists from the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), part of the National Institutes of Health, with NIAID also supporting the vaccine’s nonclinical studies and clinical trials. BARDA supported phase 2/3 clinical trials, vaccine manufacturing scale up and other development activities for this vaccine.

Moderna’s Phase 3 clinical trial began July 27 as the first government-funded Phase 3 clinical trial for a COVID-19 vaccine in the U.S. and enrolled approximately 30,000 adult volunteers who did not have COVID-19. An independent data safety monitoring board overseeing the Phase 3 clinical trial reviewed the trial data and concluded that the vaccine was safe, prevented disease in 94 percent of the volunteers who received the vaccine, reduced the severity of illness in the small percentage of volunteers who contracted COVID-19, and was generally well tolerated.

The Phase 3 clinical trial for the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine enrolled approximately 43,000 adult volunteers in the U.S. who did not have COVID-19. The clinical trial showed that the vaccine was safe, prevented disease in approximately 95 percent of the volunteers who received the vaccine, reduced the severity of illness in the five percent of volunteers who contracted COVID-19 and was generally well-tolerated.

The clinical studies of both vaccines are ongoing to gather additional data such as the vaccines’ efficacy in younger populations, the duration of immunity after vaccination, and the impact of vaccination on transmissibility of the virus.

Messenger RNA vaccines take advantage of the process that cells use to make proteins in order to trigger an immune response and build immunity to a virus. In contrast, most vaccines use weakened or inactivated versions or components of a disease-causing virus to stimulate the body’s immune response to create antibodies.

HHS and DOD have contracted with four other companies to expedite development and production of vaccines that use a variety of vaccine platform technologies and are manufacturing COVID-19 vaccine doses while clinical trials are underway. If any of these other vaccine candidates are authorized by the FDA for emergency use, HHS and DOD can negotiate agreements with the respective companies to purchase additional vaccine doses to meet the demand in the United States.

Thursday, 11 February 2021 14:32

SITUATION UPDATE: COVID-19 February 11, 2021

OSDH Advisory

Vaccine POD Closures: Due to inclement weather, several COVID-19 vaccine PODs are closed or have adjusted hours. Check our website for Inclement Weather Updates.

As of this advisory, there are 409,401 cases of COVID-19 in Oklahoma.

1,762 is today's 7-day rolling average for the number of new cases reported.

A majority of the deaths reported today are from November, due in part to delayed reporting by facilities, as well as additional time taken to investigate cases previously deferred, including deaths that occurred out of state.

There are 48 additional deaths identified to report.

  • One in Adair County, one female in the 50-64 age group.
  • One in Beckham County, one male in the 65 or older age group.
  • One in Carter County, one female in the 65 or older age group.
  • Three in Cleveland County, one female in the 65 or older age group, two males in the 65 or older age group.
  • Two in Coal County, one female in the 65 or older age group, one male in the 65 or older age group.
  • One in Comanche County, one male in the 65 or older age group.
  • Two in Creek County, one female in the 65 or older age group, one male in the 65 or older age group.
  • One in Custer County, one male in the 65 or older age group.
  • One in Dewey County, one male in the 65 or older age group.
  • One in Garfield County, one male in the 50-64 age group.
  • Two in Garvin County, two males in the 65 or older age group.
  • One in Kay County, one female in the 50-64 age group.
  • One in Lincoln County, one female in the 65 or older age group.
  • Three in Major County, three males in the 65 or older age group.
  • One in Mayes County, one female in the 65 or older age group.
  • One in McCurtain County, one female in the 50-64 age group.
  • Two in Muskogee County, two females in the 65 or older age group.
  • One in Noble County, one male in the 65 or older age group.
  • Six in Oklahoma County, three females in the 65 or older age group, one male in the 50-64 age group, two males in the 65 or older age group.
  • One in Ottawa County, one male in the 65 or older age group.
  • One in Payne County, one female in the 50-64 age group.
  • Two in Pottawatomie County, one female in the 65 or older age group, one male in the 65 or older age group.
  • One in Roger Mills County, one male in the 65 or older age group.
  • One in Seminole County, one male in the 50-64 age group.
  • One in Stephens County, one male in the 65 or older age group.
  • Seven in Tulsa County, five females in the 65 or older age group, two males in the 65 or older age group.
  • Two in Wagoner County, two females in the 65 or older age group.

There are 3,948 total deaths in the state.

Additional hospitalization data can be found in the Hospital Tiers report, published evenings Monday through Friday.

Register online to receive a notification when you're eligible to schedule a COVID-19 vaccine appointment at vaccinate.oklahoma.gov.

For more information, visit https://oklahoma.gov/covid19.html

COVID-19 Oklahoma Test Results

Cases

409,401

*Total Cumulative Negative Specimens to Date

2,934,303

*Total Cumulative Number of Specimens to Date

3,317,797

Acute Care OSDH Licensed Facility Hospitalizations

807

Other Types of Facilities Hospitalizations

65

Total Cumulative Hospitalizations

23,020

Total Cumulative Deaths

3,948

*The total includes laboratory information provided to OSDH at the time of the report. As a result, counts are subject to change. Total counts may not reflect unique individuals. 

***The purpose of publishing aggregated statistical COVID-19 data through the OSDH Dashboard, the Executive Order Report, and the Weekly Epidemiology and Surveillance Report is to support the needs of the general public in receiving important and necessary information regarding the state of the health and safety of the citizens of Oklahoma. These resources may be used only for statistical purposes and may not be used in any way that would determine the identity of any reported cases.

Data Source: Acute Disease Service, Oklahoma State Department of Health.
*As of 2021-02-11 at 7:00 a.m.

Detailed case statistics are published on the website. Click here for more information.

Press Release

OKLAHOMA CITY (Feb. 11, 2021) – State Superintendent of Public Instruction Joy Hofmeister made the following remarks today after the announcement by Gov. Stitt that teachers and school staff will be able to get the COVID-19 vaccine beginning at the same time as adult Oklahomans with a comorbidity.

"Our teachers and support staff deserve and need to work in a safe and secure environment. Giving them this opportunity to receive the vaccine as soon as reasonably possible is critical. While in-person school is more dependent on COVID mitigation strategies such as masks and social distancing , ensuring the vaccination of teachers is vital to keeping school doors open. I urge all Oklahomans, teachers and non-teachers alike, to welcome the vaccine as soon as they are eligible."

EPA Press Release

WASHINGTON (February 10, 2021) — Today, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is announcing that certain copper alloys provide long-term effectiveness against viruses, including SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19. As a result of EPA’s approval, products containing these copper alloys can now be sold and distributed with claims that they kill certain viruses that come into contact with them. This is the first product with residual claims against viruses to be registered for use nationwide. Testing to demonstrate this effectiveness was conducted on harder-to-kill viruses.

“Providing Americans with new tools and information to fight the virus that causes COVID-19 is one of EPA’s top priorities,” said Acting Assistant Administrator for EPA’s Office of Chemical Safety and Pollution Prevention Michal Freedhoff. “Today’s action marks another step forward in EPA’s efforts to listen to the science and provide effective tools to help protect human health.”

In today’s action, EPA is granting an amended registration to the Copper Development Association for an emerging viral pathogen claim to be added to the label of Antimicrobial Copper Alloys- Group 1 (EPA Reg. No. 82012-1), which is made of at least 95.6 percent copper. Amended registrations allow previously registered products to make label changes (e.g., changes to product claims, precautions and/or use directions) and/or formulation changes. In this case, the amended registration is adding virus claims to the product registration.

New efficacy testing supported by the Copper Development Association and conducted according to EPA’s protocols demonstrated certain high-percentage copper alloy products can continuously kill viruses that come into contact with them. Based on testing against harder-to-kill viruses, EPA expects these products to eliminate 99.9 percent of SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19, within two hours.

Antimicrobial copper alloys can be manufactured into a wide range of surfaces, including doorknobs and handrails. These high-percentage copper alloy products will be added to the List N Appendix, the Agency’s list of residual antiviral products that can be used to supplement routine cleaning and disinfection to combat SARS-CoV-2. To find products for routine cleaning and disinfection, see EPA’s List N.

The use of antimicrobial copper alloy products supplements but does not replace standard infection control practices. Individuals should continue to follow Centers for Disease Control (CDC), state, and local public health guidelines, including critical precautions like mask wearing, social distancing, and ventilation. According to the CDC, COVID-19 is thought to spread mainly through close contact from person to person.

For more information on how copper alloy products can be used against viruses, see EPA’s website or the product’s label in the Pesticide Product and Label System.

Wednesday, 10 February 2021 11:07

SITUATION UPDATE: COVID-19 February 10, 2021

OSDH Advisory

Vaccine POD Closures: Due to inclement weather, several COVID-19 vaccine PODs are closed or have adjusted hours. Check our website for Inclement Weather Updates.

As of this advisory, there are 407,724 cases of COVID-19 in Oklahoma.

1,920 is today's 7-day rolling average for the number of new cases reported.

There are 30 additional deaths identified to report.

  • One in Caddo County, one male in the 50-64 age group.
  • One in Canadian County, one female in the 65 or older age group.
  • One in Carter County, one female in the 65 or older age group.
  • Three in Cleveland County, one female in the 65 or older age group, one male in the 50-64 age group, one male in the 65 or older age group.
  • One in Comanche County, one male in the 65 or older age group.
  • One in Creek County, one female in the 65 or older age group.
  • One in Garfield County, one male in the 65 or older age group.
  • One in Garvin County, one male in the 65 or older age group.
  • One in Grady County, one male in the 50-64 age group.
  • One in Haskell County, one female in the 50-64 age group.
  • One in Muskogee County, one male in the 65 or older age group.
  • Five in Oklahoma County, one female in the 50-64 age group, one female in the 65 or older age group, three males in the 65 or older age group.
  • One in Osage County, one male in the 36-49 age group.
  • One in Pottawatomie County, one male in the 65 or older age group.
  • One in Seminole County, one male in the 50-64 age group.
  • Eight in Tulsa County, three females in the 65 or older age group, one male in the 36-49 age group, one male in the 50-64 age group, three males in the 65 or older age group.
  • One in Wagoner County, one male in the 65 or older age group.

There are 3,900 total deaths in the state.

Additional hospitalization data can be found in the Hospital Tiers report, published evenings Monday through Friday.

Register online to receive a notification when you're eligible to schedule a COVID-19 vaccine appointment at vaccinate.oklahoma.gov.

For more information, visit https://oklahoma.gov/covid19.html.

COVID-19 Oklahoma Test Results

Cases

407,724

*Total Cumulative Negative Specimens to Date

2,919,356

*Total Cumulative Number of Specimens to Date

3,302,040

Acute Care OSDH Licensed Facility Hospitalizations

856

Other Types of Facilities Hospitalizations

74

Total Cumulative Hospitalizations

22,930

Total Cumulative Deaths

3,900

*The total includes laboratory information provided to OSDH at the time of the report. As a result, counts are subject to change. Total counts may not reflect unique individuals. 

***The purpose of publishing aggregated statistical COVID-19 data through the OSDH Dashboard, the Executive Order Report, and the Weekly Epidemiology and Surveillance Report is to support the needs of the general public in receiving important and necessary information regarding the state of the health and safety of the citizens of Oklahoma. These resources may be used only for statistical purposes and may not be used in any way that would determine the identity of any reported cases.

Data Source: Acute Disease Service, Oklahoma State Department of Health.
*As of 2021-02-10 at 7:00 a.m.

Detailed case statistics are published on the website. Click here for more information.

 

AHCA/NCAL Press Release

Submitted by BethMartino AHCA Press Office

Below is a letter sent this morning to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) from the American Health Care Association and the National Center for Assisted Living (AHCA/NCAL) asking for the CDC to quickly evaluate the vaccines’ effectiveness among the long term care population in both preventing spread and reducing morbidity and mortality. Here is a link to a pdf version of the letter.  The clinical trials only evaluated the effectiveness in preventing symptomatic disease and severe illness, and participants did not include long term care residents, so AHCA/NCAL agrees with public health experts that further study is needed on the vaccines’ impact on transmission and the long term care population before revising guidance concerning long term care settings. 

We are hopeful that the CDC will expedite this evaluation of the vaccines in order to bring clarity to states, providers, residents and family members as soon as possible. Prioritizing research on the vaccines’ effectiveness among our population would help ensure these facilities can swiftly and safely reopen, which is a major priority for our providers to improve the lives of our vulnerable seniors and reunite them with family.

February 10, 2021

Rochelle P. Walensky, MD, MPH
Director
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
1600 Clifton Road
Atlanta, GA 30329

DELIVERED VIA EMAIL

Dear Dr. Walensky,

Thank you for your leadership in helping to prioritize long term care residents and staff for the COVID-19 vaccine. The American Health Care Association and National Center for Assisted Living (AHCA/NCAL), representing more than 14,000 nursing homes and assisted living communities across the country that provide care to approximately five million people each year, appreciates the CDC’s efforts to both expeditiously and methodically vaccinate our unique population.

Facing an unprecedented and monumental task, the CDC’s pharmacy partnership program for long-term care has been a great success. This reflects the hard work and commitment of your agency to ensure that vaccinations in long term care are efficient and effective.

Since the beginning of the pandemic, we have also appreciated the CDC’s rapid development of guidance on infection control practices to prevent the spread of COVID-19, which has been devastating to long term care residents and staff. This guidance, which included restricting visitors and group activities, was necessary to help save as many lives as possible, as the virus uniquely targets our residents—primarily older adults with multiple chronic conditions. However, now with millions of our residents and staff getting vaccinated, we hope to see swift changes to the current guidance in order to improve the quality of life for our residents.

To achieve this goal, we ask for CDC’s support to rapidly evaluate the vaccines’ effectiveness among the long term care population in both preventing spread and in reducing morbidity and mortality. We understand the clinical trials only evaluated the effectiveness in preventing symptomatic disease and severe illness, and participants did not include long term care residents. Therefore, further study is needed on the vaccines’ impact on transmission and our population before revising guidance to long term care settings. We support this approach; however, we ask that the CDC expedite this evaluation of the vaccines in order to bring clarity to states, providers, residents and family members as soon as possible.

Fortunately, preliminary analysis by AHCA/NCAL suggests that the vaccines may be as effective as we hoped. Our research division, the Center for Health Policy Evaluation in Long Term Care (CHPE), found that COVID-19 cases decreased at a faster rate among nursing homes that had completed their first vaccine clinic, compared to nearby nursing homes that had not yet administered the vaccine. More specifically, the CHPE analysis found:
  • Vaccinated nursing homes experienced a 48% decline in new resident cases three weeks after the first clinic, compared to a 21% decline among non-vaccinated nursing homes located in the same county.
     
  • Similarly, new staff cases declined by 33% in vaccinated nursing homes compared to 18% in non-vaccinated facilities.
While encouraging, further study is needed to determine if these trends will continue in subsequent clinics or after the second dose of the vaccine. We ask that data and funding be made available to the research community to expedite this ongoing analysis.

AHCA/NCAL stands ready to assist the CDC in this effort. We can facilitate data sharing between providers and researchers as well as connect with experts from the public and private sector to assist with data waiting to be evaluated.

The need for urgency on this matter is painfully evident. For nearly a year, long term care residents have been unable to visit with their loved ones in-person or participate in enriching social activities. Despite our staff’s heroic efforts to keep residents engaged and fill the void of family members, we are deeply concerned that the prolonged isolation of our residents is impacting their health and wellbeing. Prioritizing research on the vaccines’ effectiveness among our population would help ensure these facilities can swiftly and safely reopen, improving the lives of our vulnerable seniors.

Meanwhile, with millions of residents and staff receiving their second doses, many states have begun to explore reopening strategies. State governments play a vital role in contributing to the protection of our residents and staff during this time. However, in this situation, we believe that cohesion is needed to ensure effective outcomes. Without guidance from the federal government, states may create confusing or inconsistent practices.

Since ongoing evaluations are needed, we recommend that CDC reiterate the rationale for current guidance to states, providers, residents and families as soon as possible, as well as outline what is needed in order to modify existing guidance. Clear communication with stakeholders can help ensure everyone understands the continued need for vigilance until we know more about the vaccines’ effectiveness.

Thank you again for your leadership. The CDC has made an immeasurable difference in the lives of all Americans during this unprecedented time. Perhaps next to you, no one could wish for an immediate end to the pandemic than those who live and work in long term care. We look forward to working together to protect our residents while still offering the highest quality care.

Sincerely,


                                                     


Mark Parkinson
President & Chief Executive Officer
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