CDC said the funding can also be used to evaluate health care providers who have been exposed to or infected by the new coronavirus, in today's bite-sized hospital and health industry news from Alabama, Georgia, and New Jersey.
- Alabama: HHS' Office for Civil Rights (OCR) on Wednesday announced that Alabama is ending its 2010 ventilator rationing guidelines, which the state published in 2010, after OCR found they could lead to patient discrimination. The state published new emergency guidelines on ventilator use in February in response to the new coronavirus epidemic, but the 2010 guidelines still were available on state websites. As such, OCR found that it was not clear whether the 2010 guidelines were still in effect and determined that guidelines could lead to discrimination against older patients and patients with intellectual disabilities. The state agreed to take down the 2010 guidelines and to not include similar criteria in any future guidance (Brady, Modern Healthcare, 4/8).
- Georgia: CDC has announced it will provide $186 million to both state and local governments to fund more testing and surveillance of cases of Covid-19, especially in areas that are considered "hot zones." CDC said states and localities also can use the funding to evaluate health care providers who have been exposed or infected by the new coronavirus, in an effort to identify risk factors and preventive measures that can be taken to avoid infection (Reed, FierceHealthcare, 4/6).
- New Jersey: Gov. Phil Murphy (D) on Wednesday signed an executive order that instructs all state residents to wear face masks in grocery stores and essential retail stores to reduce transmission of the new coronavirus. The order also requires that all essential retail stores provide employees with masks and gloves, and only allow customers inside if the store is under 50% capacity. Murphy said customers that are not wearing face coverings should be "asked to leave" unless they are under two years old or have medical reasons for not wearing a mask (Coleman, The Hill, 4/8).