COVID-19 Daily Briefing 4/8
April 8, 5:30
DPH advises Delawareans to wear masks
In line with CDC recommendations, the Division of Public Health recommended on that Delawareans should wear cloth face coverings in public settings where social distancing measures are difficult to maintain. Those settings include grocery stores and pharmacies.
Wednesday’s guidance from DPH is for the use of cloth face coverings only. The primary purpose of wearing a cloth face covering is not to protect yourself – it is to protect others.
Members of the general public are not recommended to wear medical or surgical masks, which should be reserved as personal protective equipment for health care workers. A cloth face covering may be factory-made or sewn by hand, or can be improvised from household items such as scarfs, T-shirts, sweatshirts, or towels.
Delawareans who wear a cloth face covering should practice strict hand-washing before and after touching the face covering, according to the DPH guidance. Face coverings are not a replacement for washing hands, practicing physical distancing, and staying home.
Delawareans who are sick should wear a cloth face covering over their nose and mouth if they must be around other people – even while at home, according to the DPH guidance.
“Wearing a face covering is not a substitute for existing guidance around hand-washing and social distancing,” said Dr. Karyl Rattay, Director of the Delaware Division of Public Health.
April 8, 4:30
Delaware coronavirus cases pass 1000
April 8, 4:30
Carper, Coons request COVID-19 testing data from CDC
WILMINGTON — Senators Tom Carper and Chris Coons (both D-Del.), along with 15 other colleagues urged the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) to publicly report all available information about who is able to access COVID-19 tests.
The members of Congress requested data broken down by sex, race, ethnicity, whether a patient is a health care provider and any other available demographics. The CDC is currently only disclosing a subset of its data, primarily the age groups of those testing positive, hospitalizations and fatalities.
“As COVID-19 spreads into more American communities, government agencies and academic and industry researchers are working hard to understand the depth and breadth of the pandemic and its impact on the health and well-being of Americans,” the members wrote in a statement. “To this end, it is important to document if particular groups in the United States are at greater risk for the virus and why.”
The Senators requested the CDC publicly report demographic information collected on the Human Infection with 2019 Novel Coronavirus Person Under Investigation (PUI) and Case Report Form – sex, race, ethnicity, whether a patient is a health care provider and any other available demographics – as a function of: access to testing; positive test results; hospitalizations; intensive care unit admissions; and fatalities.
They also requested that any updated PUI and Case Report Form include updated categories for race, ethnicity, sex, primary language and disability status consistent with the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Guidance on Data Collection Standards, as well as an input for “specialty” of the health care worker.
To allow government agencies and researchers access to the data, the members also requested that the data be made available as a National Center for Health Statistics public-use data file.
April 8, 10 a.m.
Highmark assists Primary Care Physicians during COVID-19 crisis
Highmark Inc. will assist local Primary Care Physicians (PCPs) by advancing payments made through the True Performance reimbursement program. The reimbursement payments would have been made in June, but will begin going out immediately as many practices are being affected by stay-at-home orders and other COVID-19 related issues.
“PCPs are important partners for Highmark,” said Deborah Rice-Johnson, president, Highmark in a statement. “They help to coordinate and better manage care for our members with chronic conditions, and help ensure that members are staying healthy by receiving services like appropriate screenings and vaccinations.”
More than 1,700 PCPs or associated entities in Delaware, Pennsylvania and West Virginia will receive the advanced payments. According to the company, over $30 million in advanced payments will be made.
Over the last three years, Highmark’s claims data shows that True Performance providers have helped to avoid more than $1.5 billion in health care costs.
April 8, 9:30 a.m.
Goldey-Beacom College to hold multi-media graduation
Goldey-Beacom College (GBC) announced that a Graduate Recognition Video will be launched on Friday, May 1, for the class of 2020.
The video is being released on the originally scheduled graduation date. President Colleen Perry Keith says the online video will honor the hard work of GBC students. “The entire Goldey-Beacom College community wants to recognize and celebrate the efforts of our students while at the same time acknowledging the historical reason why we are in this situation,” Dr. Keith said in a statement.
Goldey-Beacom College has scheduled its physical commencement ceremony on campus for Friday, November 20, 2020. The graduation ceremony will kick off Legacy Weekend, a time for alumni to come back and reconnect with each other and the College.
April 7, 7 p.m.