COVID-19 Update: May 15, 2020

COVID-19 update for Friday, May 15 as of 2:30 p.m.

Pennsylvania Update

Governor Wolf

Governor Wolf announced that 12 more counties will move to the yellow phase and begin reopening next Friday, May 22.  This will bring 49 of Pennsylvania’s 67 counties into the yellow phase of partial reopening.

Department of Health

The Department of Health has issued an order requiring nursing homes to report to the department daily beginning on May 16 the same information CMS requires these facilities to report to the CDC under the interim final rule issued on May 8.  Click here for a letter from CMS to states explaining these requirements.

Department of Health Daily Briefing

  • Nearly 1000 new cases of COVID-19 brings Pennsylvania’s total to more than 60,000.
  • Nearly 13,000 residents of long-term-care facilities and more than 2000 who work in 550 such facilities in 44 counties have tested positive for COVID-19.
  • As have more than 4300 health care workers and nearly 2400 people who work in 150 food facilities.
  • Pennsylvania has cut its case count in half in recent weeks.
  • But the state is still seeing pockets of outbreaks and some parts of the state are only now beginning to show signs of declining cases.
  • Secretary Levine said testing and contact tracing are working well in yellow counties.
  • Secretary Levine confirmed that the state now has cases of multi-system inflammatory syndrome in children (MIS-C) associated with COVID-19. She said she has no information about how many such cases there are and where in the state these children live.

General Assembly

The House is scheduled to reconvene next Monday and the Senate canceled its session for next week.

Federal Update

Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services

Department of Health and Human Services

HHS and its Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) will award $5 million in fiscal year 2020 to support novel, high-impact studies that evaluate the responsiveness of health care delivery systems, health care professionals, and the overall U.S. health care system to the COVID-19 pandemic.   See HHS’s announcement of the grant program here and find the full funding announcement here.

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

The CDC issued a health advisory through its health alert network with background information on several cases of a recently reported multi-system inflammatory syndrome in children (MIS-C) associated with COVID-19.  The advisory includes a case definition for this syndrome and the CDC’s recommendation that providers report any patient who meets the case definition to local, state, and territorial health departments to enhance knowledge of risk factors, pathogenesis, clinical course, and treatment of this syndrome.

Food and Drug Administration

  • The FDA issued an update to its guidance for pharmacy compounders that experience shortages of the personal protective equipment they typically use to compound human drugs that are intended or expected to be sterile.  In the update, FDA clarifies that drugs can be compounded under the policy in a segregated compounding area that is not in a cleanroom when specific beyond-use dates are used.

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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