COVID-19 Bulletin

September 14, 2021

Here is today’s COVID-19 update. 

Bi-State continues to keep our website updated with the latest on the Bi-State COVID-19 Resources webpage. This links to various credible COVID-19 resources, archives all Bi-State COVID-19 Bulletins, and holds a section of resources for patients.

Bi-State COVID-19 Resources
New Hampshire Resources

NH Fiscal Policy Institute Publications

This issue brief published 9/1 analyzes the uneven impacts of the pandemic on certain groups of workers and industries.

This blog published 9/1 explores how NH's new flexible federal funds have been appropriated. 

NH Medical Society Bulletin

September 5, 2021

Click here to view a PDF of the NH Medical Society's 9/5 Newsletter with the latest COVID-19 news. 

State of NH COVID-19 Resources
Governor Sununu Executive and Emergency Orders
Vermont Resources
State of VT COVID-19 Resources
VT Health Care Provider Resources

Updates to School Algorithm from VDH

VCHIP/VDH/CHAMP have provided the link to the updated COVID-19 in Pediatric Patients: Triage, Evaluation, Testing, and Return to School, it reflects the version dated August 27, 2021 and has been reviewed by VDH staff.

Federal Resources

Mandatory Vaccine Requirements from CMS and OSHA

Below please see a brief update provided via email Friday on two announcements that were made last week regarding mandatory vaccines/testing for COVID-19 by the Biden-Harris Administration. These are part of a six-pronged strategy announced on 9/9/21.

  • CMS’ Announcement requiring COVID-19 vaccination of staff within all Medicare and Medicaid-certified facilities. Facilities include FQHCs, RHC, hospitals, etc. CMS will release an Interim Final Rule in October. There is no specific implementation date for this requirement available at this time, however because this is an Interim Final Rule, it will likely go into effect upon publication (there may be different dates in the actual text as well). CMS encourages facilities to use “all available resources to support employee vaccination”. The press release can be found here.
  • The Administration also announced that OSHA will be publishing an Emergency Temporary Standard that requires all businesses with 100 or more employees to ensure that every worker is either vaccinated for COVID-19 or submits to weekly testing for COVID-19. Like an Interim Final Rule, the Emergency Temporary Standard can go into effect upon publication in the federal register. Additional information can be found here.

UPDATED: COVID-19 Vaccine Codes Added to 2021 UDS Manual

HRSA updated the 2021 UDS Manual to include additional COVID-19 vaccine Current Procedural Terminology (CPT®) codes for Table 6A: Selected Diagnoses and Services Rendered. HRSA added clarifying language to Table 6B: Quality of Care Measures to better explain the age limits for the cervical cancer screening and Body Mass Index (BMI) screening and follow-up measure denominators. Visit the UDS Resources webpage for resources to help your health center submit an accurate, timely, and complete UDS report.

As a reminder, HRSA's TA webinar series for 2021 UDS reporting is in progress. View the full webinar schedule, including sessions on the clinical tables.

Updated CDC Guidelines and Resources

September 10, 2021 Changes to Interim Infection Prevention and Control Recommendations for Healthcare Personnel During the COVID-19 Pandemic.  

Updates as of September 10, 2021:

  • Updated source control* recommendations to address limited situations for healthcare facilities in counties with low to moderate community transmission where select fully vaccinated individuals could choose not to wear source control. However, in general, the safest practice is for everyone in a healthcare setting to wear source control.
  • Updated quarantine recommendations for fully vaccinated patients who have had close contact with someone with SARS-CoV-2 infection to more closely align with recommendations for the community.
  • Clarified the recommended intervals for testing asymptomatic health care personnel with a higher-risk exposure and patients with close contact with someone with SARS-CoV-2 infection.
  • Added content from previously posted CDC guidance addressing:
    • Recommendations for fully vaccinated health care personnel, patients, and visitors
    • SARS-CoV-2 testing
    • Duration of Transmission-Based Precautions for patients with SARS-CoV-2 infection
    • Specialized healthcare settings (e.g., dental, dialysis, EMS)

 *Source control refers to use of respirators or well-fitting facemasks or cloth masks to cover a person’s mouth and nose to prevent spread of respiratory secretions when they are breathing, talking, sneezing, or coughing.

CDC Resources for 12 COVID-19 Vaccination Strategies for Your Community - the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) highlights 12 strategies derived from evidence-based practices that are being applied in communities across the country to promote vaccine confidence and uptake.

NACHC Project Echo Mini-Series Regarding Telehealth

NACHC is  pleased to invite you to the upcoming Project Echo Mini-Series: “FQHC Telehealth Best Practices: Lessons Learned from the Pandemic”, hosted by the National Consortium of Telehealth Resource Centers (NCTRC). This four-part series runs Sep 28-Oct 19. Check out the attached flyer for sessions descriptions. You won’t want to miss it! Spread the word!   The registration link is currently down, contact Heather Skeels if you are interested in registering.  

CDC Situation Summary
NACHC COVID-19 Resources
WHO Situation Report
Other Resources

Gifford's Dr. White on COVID-19 

From the Gifford Health Care Website: "As students are heading back to school, there’s some concern from parents about the safety of their children as the Delta variant continues to make its way through the population. Gifford Chief Medical Officer, Dr. Josh White agrees that there should be concern since children under the age of 12 still do not have an opportunity to get vaccinated."  Watch the video of Dr. White's comments

Johns Hopkins Interactive Map and Summary
Community and Patient Resources

 Types of Masks and Respirators

On September 10, 2021 the CDC updated information about Masks and Respirators for the public.  

  • Made minor updates to the sections on Cloth Masks and Disposable Masks
  • Updated the section on Masks that Meet a Standard
  • Added section about Respirators that Meet International Standards (e.g., KN95s)
  • Added considerations for use of NIOSH-approved respirators because the availability of NIOSH-approved N95 respirators has increased significantly over the last several months
  • Added section on Alternative Masks for Special Situations
  • Updated section on Choosing a Mask or Respirator for Different Situations
Non Coronavirus Content

2021 CQS

October 5, 2021
Registration Open!

Our 2021 Clinical Quality Symposium will be held VIRTUALLY on 10/5/2021 (8AM-4PM).
Register here.
The keynote will focus on Health Equity. Other sessions include: Long-term Effects of COVID-19 on Cognition and Brain Function; Exploration of Multidimensional Therapies for Managing Chronic Pain (panel); Bringing Care to Patients (on home visits); Addressing Depression in Patients with Chronic Conditions; the Neuroscience of Pain, Addiction, and Trauma.

Questions for Bi-State

Vermont: Please contact: Kaylana Blindow, 802-229-0002 ext. 226

New Hampshire: Please contact: Colleen Dowling, 603-228-2830 ext. 127

Introducing Hudson.  Hudson lives with Kim Martin from Bi-State and is so darn cute you will forgive him for chewing your shoes.   Thank you for all you do.  

Would you like to see your furbaby featured in a future bulletin? Email pictures to Heather Skeels
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