Updated: Dec 17, 2020
There have been so many things out of our control in 2020. But our risk of seasonal influenza is one that we can control to a certain extent by immunization. The CDC and other public health leaders are encouraging influenza vaccination this year even more than in years past, due to the dangers of concurrent influenza and COVID-19 viral activity. Immunization offers protection that extends beyond masking, hand washing, and distancing . In situations involving reluctance to immunize, it may be helpful to post the weekly CDC FluView map to encourage influenza immunization to those that have not yet received it. Keeping in mind that it can take up to two weeks for immunity to develop after vaccination, watching the spread of seasonal flu with the weekly map can help keep your immunization program active even as the season progresses. As long as flu is active, it’s not too late to get a flu shot.
The FluView map and additional flu surveillance information can be found at
Monoclonal Antibody Treatment
AVAILABLE: Monoclonal Antibody Treatments have received Emergency Use Authorization (see excerpt below) to care for your SNF residents. Bamlanivimab is now available at no cost through your SNF pharmacy provider from State allocations to administer on site. If you are not able to administer on-site - please refer patients to off-site option. Medications will be provided by Local Health Department at no cost to patient or facility. Please start assessing whether people you care for are interested in receiving this treatment.
What: Medication treatments for people with mild-moderate symptoms of COVID-19 infection - who aren't sick enough to require hospitalization.
Why: Administration of these treatments before someone gets sicker can reduce disease progression and prevent need for hospitalization. Hospitalization was reduced from 16% to 4% in the treatment group.
Who: Anyone who is older than 65 years or has a BMI>35, has tested positive for COVID-19 and has symptom onset within past 7 days.
How: Residents at facilities need to be assessed by their care provider at facility, assessed to meet criteria, consent obtained, patient/caregiver information sheet given. Main counseling points are: 1) Medication is infused over 1 hour through peripheral IV; 2) Medication is still under investigation but has been well tolerated; 3) There are no other therapeutic alternatives available. Refer for treatment after patient information sheet reviewed and consent obtained at facility. Referrals need to include: Patient Name; Date of Birth; current MAR; copy of positive covid test result and must be competent to consent to receive medication infusion or has DPOA consent to infusion - documentation should accompany patient upon arrival to infusion center.
Reminder: N95 respirators require individual fit testing prior to use in areas for which N95 protection is required. Be sure staff are fit tested for each brand. California’s MHOAC has a supply reserve of N95 masks and fit test kits ready for distribution to facilities that request them. Staff that have not been or cannot be fit tested may not work in situations that require N95 level of protection.
Reducing the length of quarantine may make it easier to quarantine by reducing the time away from work. Your local public health authorities make the final decisions about how long quarantine should last, based on local conditions and needs. DPH will consider newly released CDC guidance on stopping quarantine after day 10 without testing, or after day 7 after receiving a negative test result (test must occur on day 5 or later). https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/if-you-are-sick/quarantine.html
Did you Know?
Relative Humidity (RH) can affect transmission of infectious droplets. There is evidence that maintaining RH at 40-60 percent (the "magic zone") decreases the risk for infection transmission via droplets.
Studies show an inverse effect that relative humidity plays as humidity increases: droplet spread decreases; lower humidity increases the risk.
Keep humidity in mind when evaluating COVID-19 environmental engineering https://text.apic.org/toc/healthcare-associated-pathogens-and-diseases/coronavirus-disease-2019-covid-19