COVID-19 Related News

Framework for Equitable Allocation of COVID-19 Vaccine

The final report was released and includes recommendations for ensuring equity in distribution and access to the vaccine. Read the summary of Recommendations here.

Secretary Azar Testifies Before Congress on the Administration’s Response to the Coronavirus Pandemic

Last week HHS Secretary Alex Azar testified during a lengthy meeting of the Select Subcommittee on the Coronavirus Crisis, chaired by Rep. James E. Clyburn.  Read his statement here.

HHS has Announced $20 Billion in New Phase 3 Provider Relief Funding

Under this Phase 3 General Distribution allocation, providers who have already received Provider Relief Fund payments will be invited to apply for additional funding.  Also invited to apply are previously ineligible providers and an expanded group of behavioral health providers.  Providers can begin applying today, Oct. 5, 2020.

HHS Announces State Distribution of the Abbot BinaxNOW Rapid Test

Through a public-private partnership, HHS began shipping millions of rapid point of care Abbott BinaxNOW diagnostic tests to communities at risk for the virus. Download the Abbott BinaxNOW™ COVID-19 Test Fact Sheet- PDF

NIH to Assess and Expand COVID-19 Testing for Underserved Communities

As part of the Rapid Acceleration of Diagnostics (RADx) initiative, the RADx Underserved Populations (RADx-UP) the NIH has awarded nearly $234 million to improve COVID-19 testing for underserved and vulnerable populations.

Community-based COVID-19 Testing Sites

COVID-19 tests are available at no cost nationwide at health centers and select pharmacies. The CARES Act ensures that COVID-19 testing is free to anyone in the U.S., including the uninsured.

Changing Age Distribution of the COVID-19 Pandemic

In case you missed it, the CDC released an MMWR on the Changing Age Distribution of the COVID-19 Pandemic in the U.S. between May and August, 2020. A key finding is that during June–August 2020, COVID-19 incidence was highest in persons aged 20–29 years.

COVID-19 Can Damage Hearts of Some College Athletes

NIH Director Dr. Francis Collins’s new blog discusses the challenges to deciding whether to pause or resume college athletics during the pandemic.

E-Learning Opportunities and Not to Be Missed Recordings

COVID-19 in Black: Honest Conversations about COVID-19 in Black Communities/Episode 1

In this recording of a conversation between members of the COVID-19 Prevention Network’s Black/African American CoVPN expert advisory panel, information was shared about the current and planned COVID-19 clinical trials and the importance of engaging Black communities in trial enrollment and uptake once a safe COVID-19 vaccine is approved.

Conspiracies and COVID-19 in Communities of Color: “Like, Comment, and Share the Truth”

Recorded Oct. 1 as part of NIH’s community engagement strategy, this webinar navigated through the wide range of information around vaccines, efficacy and safety and about the communities being targeted in the process of finding a cure to the current global pandemic.

Advancing the Response to COVID-19: Sharing Promising Programs and Practices for Racial and Ethnic Minority Communities Virtual Symposium

Recently HHS hosted a virtual symposium to highlight state, tribal, territorial, and community-based efforts to address COVID-19 among racial and ethnic minority and AI/AN populations. View the many recordings here.

Hispanic Heritage Month 2020 Twitter Chat/#HealthyLatinos

Thurs., Oct. 8, 2020, 2:00 p.m. EDT

Join this bilingual Twitter chat in observance of Hispanic Heritage Month. The chat will focus on highlighting healthy behaviors for the Hispanic/Latino community in light of the COVID-19 pandemic; getting the recommended vaccinations; and highlight efforts to improve diversity in clinical trials.  Use #HealthyLatinos.

SBA Webinar: Faith and Entrepreneurship Summit: Inspiration and Tools for Women in Business

Thurs., Oct. 8, 2020, 1:30 p.m. EDT, Register here.

The Center for Faith and Opportunity Initiatives at the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) is hosting a virtual event that will discuss how faith-based women entrepreneurs can harness the power of faith, economic development, and entrepreneurship to create and sustain thriving businesses.

Coronavirus Scams, Older Adults, & Financial Protection

Thurs., Oct. 8, 2020, 11:00 a.m. – 12 p.m. EDT – Register here.

Join federal experts who will provide an overview of coronavirus-related scams targeting older adults, share resources to help older adults avoid financial distress due to the pandemic, and discuss the role of the aging network, including Adult Protective Services, legal services attorneys, and Long-term Care Ombudsman program experts.

Webinar Series: Spirituality and Mental Health

2nd Episode in 6-part series: Tues., Oct. 13, 2020, 12:00 p.m. EDT, Register here

Research demonstrates that spirituality and religious belief can be a protective factor in the prevention of, and recovery from, mental illness.  Learn more about programs that have translated this research into action and the importance of providing spiritual support for the clinicians themselves. Learn more about this series here and listen to prior episodes here.

HHS Announcements

HEAR HER Campaign

Join this campaign that supports the CDC’s efforts to prevent pregnancy-related deaths by sharing potentially life-saving messages about urgent warning signs.

SAMHSA’s New My Mental Health Crisis Plan App

SAMHSA’s newly released mobile app empowers individuals who have serious mental illness (SMI) to help guide their treatment preferences during a mental health crisis.

SUPPORT Act Medicaid Medication Assisted Treatment (MAT) Services and Drugs Mandatory Coverage Starts

State Medicaid programs are now required to provide coverage of Medication Assisted Treatment (MAT) services and drugs under a new mandatory benefit in order to increase access to evidenced-based treatment for Opioid Use Disorder (OUD) for all Medicaid beneficiaries.

CDC Digital Media Toolkit: 2020-21 Flu Season

Help spread the word on the importance of getting a flu vaccine by using the CDC’s recently released digital media toolkit for the 2020-21 flu season. FDA also released multiple reasons why it is important to get your flu vaccine, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Infographic: Drug and Alcohol Use in College-Age Adults in 2019

This infographic illustrates the latest data from the National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH).  The data tells us that nicotine vaping rose dramatically over 3 years and that cannabis vaping has increased sharply among non-college young adults in 2019.   Also that cannabis use remains at historic highs and use is more common among non-college young adults in 2019.

Grants and Other Announcements

Additional Aid Available for Farmers in New CFAP 2

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) opened applications on Sept. 21 for the new Coronavirus Food Assistance Program 2 (CFAP 2). This program will offer payments to farmers and ranchers who may have suffered economic impacts caused by the coronavirus. Para la versión en español de esta historia, por favor oprima aqui.

31 Million Awarded in Support of Sexual Risk Avoidance Education

Seventy-nine organizations that educate youth on sexual risk avoidance, which includes voluntarily refraining from sexual activity, were awarded $31.63 million this week.

DOJ Awards More than $92 Million to Support Offenders Returning to Communities

The Department of Justice (DOJ) announced more than $92 million in awards to reduce recidivism among adults and juvenile offenders returning to their communities after confinement. For more information read the OJP fact sheet.

Fostering Innovative Research to Improve Mental Health Outcomes Among Minority and Health Disparities Populations

NOT-MH-20-073 — The National Institute of Mental Health seeks time-sensitive input from all interested parties on the most innovative research and research priorities to improve mental health outcomes among racial/ethnic minority and health disparities populations. Learn more hereResponse date: Oct. 30, 2020.

Comprehensive High-Impact HIV Prevention Programs for Community-Based Organizations

The CDC supports the development and implementation of high-impact HIV prevention programs, including PrEP and nPEP services. Closing date: Nov. 20, 2020.