The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports a more highly transmissible variant of SARS-CoV-2, known as B.1.1.7, has been detected in 20 states. The agency reports 122 COVID-19 cases in the U.S. caused by the variant.
The Jan. 12 Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report examines the detection of this new strain through the National SARS-CoV-2 Strain Surveillance program and urges increased compliance with public health mitigation strategies to prevent the spread of the highly contagious variant.
CDC Publishes New COVID-19 Vaccination Toolkits
CDC released two more COVID-19 vaccination toolkits targeted toward employers of essential workers and staff of community-based organizations. Each toolkit includes an introductory letter, key messages, frequently asked questions, a slide deck for town hall presentations, a fact sheet in several languages, posters, newsletter content, a letter to members, and social media graphics.
HHS Updates PRF Reporting Timeline
The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) announced Jan. 15 that the Provider Relief Fund (PRF) reporting timeline will be altered to account for provisions of the Coronavirus Response and Relief Supplemental Appropriations Act (CRRSAA) passed in December.
HHS previously planned to open the reporting portal Jan. 15 and require initial submissions by Feb. 15. The agency has delayed the submission deadline to accommodate the additional $3 billion in funding and new reporting requirements in the CRRSAA. In the interim, PRF recipients that have received more than $10,000 in aggregate payments are encouraged to register for access to the reporting portal.
The updated reporting requirements do not apply to funds from certain distributions, including:
- Nursing Home Infection Control;
- Rural Health Clinics Testing; and
- COVID-19 Claims Reimbursement to Health Care Providers for Facilities for Testing, Treatment, and Vaccine Administration for the Uninsured.