Coronavirus

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The American Academy of Nursing calls for a rapid response as the Coronavirus continues to spread. Below is a timeline summarizing actions the Academy has taken in response to this novel disease along with additional resources and actions taken by the federal government. 

This is a rapidly evolving situation and the Academy will be continuously updating this page with additional news and resources. Please note this is meant for informational purposes and is not an exhaustive list.

Academy Actions

March 24, 2020
Academy leadership sent a message to our Fellows thanking them for their efforts to provide care to patients in need, offer support to families, educate the public, and provide leadership to address fears and misconceptions within their communities. In addition, the Academy sent a message to our CANS members as well on March 27, 2020.

March 23, 2020
The Academy sent a letter requesting Congress work quickly and pass critical legislation with increased resources needed for nurses, healthcare providers, hospitals, as well as the public health and research infrastructures to combat the Coronavirus (COVID-19).

March 22, 2020
The Academy sent a letter to the President urging for heightened federal action and calling for immediate use of his authority under the Defense Production Act (DPA) to increase production of critically needed Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) and supplies for nurses and healthcare workers as the impact of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic becomes increasingly dire.



Academy President Eileen Sullivan-Marx's interview on MSNBC on protecting the nurses on the frontlines of the pandemic. The Academy continues to call for Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) so that nurses and all healthcare providers can remain in care settings. Their health and safety are paramount during this pandemic.

March 20, 2020
The Academy, along with other health organizations, signed onto a letter to Vice President Pence, Speaker Pelosi, Leader McConnell, Leader McCarthy, and Leader Schumer to urge the Administration and Congress to make Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) available to all health care systems, facilities, and providers to ensure safe working environments during the current COVID-19 pandemic and any future crisis. Read more.

March 19, 2020

Academy President Eileen Sullivan-Marx's interview on CNN discusses the need to ramp up the response to the coronavirus, emphasizing the demand for the right equipment and protecting vulnerable populations living in crowded spaces.

March 18, 2020


At a White House Briefing on the Coronavirus, Academy leadership joined other national nursing organizations to discuss pressing issues related to the pandemic’s deepening impact on the public’s health and the nursing profession’s ability to provide care. Academy CEO, Suzanne Miyamoto, PhD, RN, FAAN emphasized the importance of protecting the most vulnerable populations, supporting nurses on the frontlines, and increasing access, scale, speed, and accuracy of testing. 

Read the Academy's statement.

March 17, 2020

President Sullivan-Marx was interviewed on Yahoo Finance. Dr. Sullivan-Marx discussed the need to increase testing and warned of the burdens that may be placed on our hospital systems. ""You need testing to understand where the pockets of disease are and where it's emerging... I think it's going to be a huge test for our system."

March 10, 2020
The Academy released a statement calling for caution and care as the coronavirus continues to spread. Focus remains on protecting the health of vulnerable populations, including older adults, individuals with preexisting conditions, and those with immunodeficiencies. 

Read the Academy's Statement

March 5, 2020

FAAN Mail's message from President Sullivan-Marx outlines the Academy’s focus at the policy level and how the expertise of our Fellows will be of assistance as further information unfolds. We want to hear from you as Fellows, nationally and internationally, the impact on the ground and where the Academy can provide support.

February 28, 2020
The Academy, along with other health organizations, signed onto a letter to Members of Congress expressing concern for the novel coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2) public health emergency. The letter also urged congressional appropriators to act swiftly and decisively to provide robust support for key domestic public health and healthcare programs, medical countermeasure development, global preparedness programs and response mechanisms, and international partnerships, in order to mitigate the impacts of the virus.

Read more
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Resources

Center for Disease Control and Prevention

World Health Organization

Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services

American Nurses Association

Patient Provider Communication Toolkit:
Supporting Communication with Coronavirus Patients

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Source: John's Hopkins University

Coronavirus: What Nurses Need to Know to Be Prepared



Research Article to Provide Historical Context by Academy Fellow Arlene Keeling, PhD, RN, FAAN
"Alert to the Necessities of the Emergency: U.S. Nursing During the 1918 Influenza Pandemic"

Discussing Coronavirus with Older Adults: Academy Fellow & Aging EP Vice Chair Melissa Batchelor, PhD, RN-BC, FNP-BC, FGSA, FAAN

Academy Fellow Ann Kurth, PhD, CNM, FAAN Interviewed on CNN



Webinar: COVID-19 & Health IT

3.27 Coronavirus Digest from the Academy

4.3 Coronavirus Digest from the Academy

Media Requests/
Questions

For media requests and/or questions related to the Academy's response, please contact Caroline Kane, Chief Advancement Officer, at ckane@aannet.org.

Federal Response

 

  • 30 Days to Slow the Spread

  • March 27: HR 748, the 2020 Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act passed the Senate on 3/25, 96-0, and the House of Representatives passed by voice-vote on 3/27. Referred to as the stimulus package, this legislation includes many provisions to support public health, environment and defense, social safety net, and individuals and families. More detailed information is available here. The bill has been sent to the President for signature. 

  • March 14-19: HR 6201, the Families First Coronavirus Response Act
    HR 6201, the Families First Coronavirus Response Act, is a bipartisan agreement between House Democrats and the Trump administration. This bill responds to the coronavirus outbreak by providing paid sick leave and free coronavirus testing, expanding food assistance and unemployment benefits, and requiring employers to provide additional protections for health care workers.

    Specifically, the bill includes: 
    • Supplemental funding to the Department of Agriculture (USDA) for nutrition and food assistance programs, including the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC); the Emergency Food Assistance Program (TEFAP); and nutrition assistance grants for U.S. territories.
    • Emergency funding to the Department of Health and Human Services for nutrition programs that assist the elderly.
    • Modifies USDA food assistance and nutrition programs to allow certain waivers to requirements for the school meal programs, suspend the work requirements for the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP, formerly known as the food stamp program), and allow states to request waivers to provide certain emergency SNAP benefits.
    • Requires the Occupational Safety and Health Administration to issue an emergency temporary standard that requires certain employers to develop and implement a comprehensive infectious disease exposure control plan to protect health care workers.
    • Establishes a federal emergency paid leave benefits program to provide payments to employees taking unpaid leave due to the coronavirus outbreak;
    • Expands unemployment benefits and provide grants to states for processing and paying claims;
    • Requires employers to provide paid sick leave to employees;
    • Establishes requirements for providing coronavirus diagnostic testing at no cost to consumers;
    • Treats personal respiratory protective devices as covered countermeasures that are eligible for certain liability protections; and
    • Temporarily increases the Medicaid federal medical assistance percentage (FMAP).

    The Families First Coronavirus Response Act, passed the House of Representatives 363-40 on Saturday, March 14thand the Senate 90-8 on March 18th. As of March 19th, the President has indicated his support of the bill and is expected to sign it in the next few days. Updates will be posted as they become available.

  • March 18: President Invokes Defense Production Act
    The President invoked the Defense Production Act (DPA), a wartime authority that allows him to direct industry to produce critical equipment during a time of war. The DPA allows the administration to direct American industry to manufacture medical supplies that are in short supply in the fight against the coronavirus pandemic.

  • March 18: CMS Issues New Guidelines on Non-Essential Procedures
    The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) announced that all elective surgeries, non-essential medical, surgical, and dental procedures be delayed during the coronavirus outbreak. 

  • March 16: President Issues Coronavirus Guidelines
    President Trump released guidelines in an effort to slow the spread of COVID-19, including advising older people and those with underlying health conditions to stay home and limiting social gatherings in groups to no more than 10 people.

  • March 16: FDA Issues Diagnostic Emergency Use Authorization to Hologic and LabCorp 
    The FDA took two additional significant diagnostic actions during the coronavirus outbreak (COVID-19) by issuing Emergency Use Authorizations (EUAs) to: Hologic for its Panther Fusion SARS-COV-2 Assay, and Laboratory Corporation of America (LabCorp) for its COVID-19 RT-PCR test.

  • March 16: FDA Provides More Regulatory Relief During Outbreak, Continues to Help Expedite Availability of Diagnostics
    The FDA updated a policy originally issued on Feb. 29 on diagnostic testing for coronavirus (COVID-19) in order to achieve more rapid testing capacity in the U.S.

  • March 15: CDC Issues New Guidelines
    The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) announced new guidelines related to large events and mass gatherings.  These recommendations include canceling or postponing in-person events that consist of 50 or more people. Please note as stated above according to the President’s Coronavirus Guidelines for America -- 15 Days to Slow the Spread of Coronavirus, social gatherings should be limited to 10 people or less.

  • March 13: President Declares National Emergency
    President Trump declared a national emergency to contain COVID-19. The National Emergencies Act was enacted in 1976 to set guidelines on the emergency powers of the president. It is usually used in times of war, natural disaster, medical pandemic/epidemic, or civil unrest. The President also used the powers of the Stafford Act (signed into law in 1988) to direct $50 billion in Federal Emergency Management Agency disaster relief funds to fight the pandemic. Many states are also declaring emergencies and instituting restrictions in an effort to stop the spread of COVID-19. 

  • March 6: Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) Telehealth Update
    Beginning on March 6th, Medicare, administered by CMS, will temporarily pay clinicians to provide telehealth services for beneficiaries residing across the entire country. CMS is expanding this benefit on a temporary and emergency basis under the 1135 waiver authority and Coronavirus Preparedness and Response Supplemental Appropriations Act. The benefits are part of the broader effort by CMS and the White House Task Force to ensure that all Americans – particularly those at high-risk of complications from the virus that causes the disease COVID-19  – are aware of easy-to-use, accessible benefits that can help keep them healthy while helping to contain the spread of this virus. Prior to this waiver Medicare could only pay for telehealth on a limited basis:  when the person receiving the service is in a designated rural area and when they leave their home and go to a clinic, hospital, or certain other types of medical facilities for the service.