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March 8, 2022

Around the nation: New York City to lift school mask mandate

Daily Briefing

    New York City will lift its mask mandate for K-12 schools this week, in today's bite-sized hospital and health industry news from Maryland, New York, and Pennsylvania.

    • Maryland: FDA released three final guidelines for cancer clinical trials that align with the goals in President Joe Biden's "Cancer Moonshot" initiative, launched last month. The goal of the initiative is to decrease the age-adjusted death rate from cancer by a least 50% over the next 25 years, as well as improve the experiences of those living with and surviving cancer, along with their families and caregivers. "With today's actions the FDA is recommending important principles that involve addressing inequities, targeting the right treatments to the right patients, speeding progress against the most deadly and rare cancers, and learning from the experience of all patients," said Richard Pazdur, director of the FDA's Oncology Center of Excellence. "All of these are tenets of Cancer Moonshot's mission." (Bassett, MedPage Today, 3/1)
    • New York: New York City Mayor Eric Adams (D) on Friday announced that New York City would join the growing list of local and state governments that have lifted mask mandates for K-12 schools. In addition, Adams announced that the city's proof-of-vaccination requirement for indoor venues, including restaurants and gyms, would also be lifted. However, children under the age of five will still be required to wear masks in all settings. According to Adams, the policies could change if Covid-19 infections increase dramatically. "We want to see the faces of our children want to see their smiles," Adams said at a press conference in Times Square on Friday. "We want to see when they're feeling sad so that we can be there to comfort them and a mask prevented us from doing so for almost two years and [we are] happy to see those smiles again," Adams said. However, he added, that if the city saw "reason to change any policies," it would be "unafraid to make those adjustments and changes." (Garfinkel, Axios, 3/4)
    • Pennsylvania: FDA on Thursday announced that B. Braun Medical recalled five lots of leaky 250 milliliter sodium chloride—or saline—injections. According to the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists, over the last two months, vials, syringes, bags, and saline solution have been in short supply because of manufacturing delays and product malfunctions at B. Braun Medical, Pfizer, Fresenius Kabi, Becton Dickinson, Baxter International, and ICU Medical. Although University of Utah Health has not been impacted by the B. Braun Medical recall, Erin Fox, a senior pharmacy director at the health system, highlighted that this latest recall demonstrates how easily the supply of sterile injectables can be disrupted. "This is not good news in the face of currently constrained supplies," Fox added. (Kacik, Modern Healthcare, 3/4)

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