Coronavirus Update for Monday, June 22

Coronavirus update for Monday, June 22 as of 4:30 p.m.

The following is the latest information from the state and federal government as of 4:30 p.m. on Monday, June 22.

State Update

House Chamber of the State HousePA House Republican Leadership Elections

Following the retirement of House Speaker Mike Turzai earlier this month, the House met today and elected former Majority Leader Bryan Cutler (Lancaster County) as Speaker.  The House Republican caucus also elected as majority leader Kerry Benninghoff (Centre County), who previously was majority whip, and chose Donna Oberlander (Armstrong, Clarion, and Forest counties), previously chair of the caucus’s policy committee, as their new majority whip.  As of this writing, the role of policy committee chair is vacant.

Department of Health

The Department of Health has updated its report on its mitigation activities for long-term-care facilities.

Department of Health – by the numbers

  • New case counts have been higher during the past four days.  The average number of new cases in the past four days was more than 35 percent greater than the average number for the five days before that.  Death totals, on the other hand, have declined significantly.
  • 746 Pennsylvanians are currently hospitalized with COVID-19, with 153 of them on ventilators.  Both of these figures have generally decreased in recent weeks although the hospitalization figure has risen slightly in recent days.
  • 40 percent of Pennsylvania hospitals’ acute-care beds are currently unoccupied, as are 39 percent of their ICU beds, 30 percent of their pediatric ICU beds, and 17 percent of their isolation rooms.  These figures have remained virtually unchanged in recent weeks.

Federal Update

Department of Health and Human Services

HHS has added new questions and answers and modified others in its CARES Act Provider Relief Fund FAQ. Providers should review these changes carefully; they are marked 6/19/2020 and 6/21/2020.

CARES Act Provider Relief Fund – Medicaid and SCHIP-Only Distribution Webcasts

On its Provider Relief Fund web page, HHS has posted the following notice:

HHS expects to distribute $15 billion to eligible Medicaid and CHIP providers through the Provider Relief Fund.  Join our webcast to learn more about the application process.  Please pre-register to reserve a spot on your preferred date:

Tuesday, June 23, 2020 at 2 PM ET

Thursday, June 25, 2020 at 2 PM ET

Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services

CMS Stakeholder Calls

CMS hosts varied recurring stakeholder engagement sessions to share information related to the agency’s response to COVID-19.  These sessions are open to members of the health care community and are intended to provide updates, share best practices among peers, and offer attendees an opportunity to ask questions of CMS and other subject matter experts.  Call details are below.  Conference lines are limited so CMS encourages interested parties to join via audio webcast, either on your computer or smartphone web browser. Calls recordings and transcripts are posted on the CMS podcast page, which you can find here.

CMS COVID-19 Office Hours Calls

Office Hour Calls provide an opportunity for hospitals, health systems, and providers to ask questions of agency officials regarding CMS’s temporary actions that empower local hospitals and health care systems to increase hospital capacity, expand their health care workforce, and make greater use of telehealth in Medicare.

Tuesday, June 23 at 5:00 – 6:00 PM Eastern

Toll Free Attendee Dial In:  833-614-0820;

Access Passcode:  5775248

Audio Webcast link:  go here.

Home Health and Hospice

Tuesday, June 23 at 3:00 – 3:30 PM Eastern

Toll Free Attendee Dial-In:  833-614-0820;

Access Passcode:  3676539

Audio Webcast Link:  go here.

Nursing Homes

Wednesday, June 24 at 4:30 – 5:00 PM Eastern

Toll Free Attendee Dial-In:  833-614-0820;

Access Passcode:  3089577

Audio Webcast Link:  go here.

Dialysis Organizations

Wednesday, June 24 at 5:30 – 6:00 PM Eastern

Toll Free Attendee Dial-In:  833-614-0820;

Access Passcode:  6494855

Audio Webcast Link:  go here.


Thursday, June 25 at 3:00 – 3:30 PM Eastern

Toll Free Attendee Dial-In:  833-614-0820;

Access Passcode:  9496814

Audio Webcast Link: go here.

Food and Drug Administration

  • On Tuesday, June 23 at 12 noon (eastern) the FDA, along with the CDC’s National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) and the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), will host a seminar on importing respirators during the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • The FDA has issued emergency use authorizations (EUAs) for four new commercial COVID-19 diagnostic tests. Find them here, here, here, and here.
  • The FDA has issued an EUA for a new commercial COVID-19 serology test. Find it here.

Centers for Disease Control & Prevention

The CDC has updated its guidance for nursing homes and other long-term-care facilities to take steps to assess and improve their preparedness for responding to COVID-19.

Resources to Consult

Pennsylvania Department of Human Services

Main COVID-19 Page

COVID-19 Provider Resources

Press Releases

Pennsylvania Department of Health

Main COVID-19 Page

PA Health Alert Network

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

Main COVID-19 Page


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Filed in Coronavirus, COVID-19.

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