COVID 19: New and Updated Information and Resources
NJAASC has curated authoritative information and a list of resources for our Membership’s reference. We will continue to update this as more information becomes available.


PAST COVID E-BLAST HAVE BEEN ARCHIVED DUE TO SPACE RESTRAINTS AND TO KEEP THINGS CURRENT. 
TO VIEW PREVIOUS E-BLASTS, CLICK HERE

ACCEPTABLE MOLECULAR TESTS – 6/10/20
I want to reiterate that the ONLY acceptable testing per DOH guidelines is Molecular, no serology.
So if you are using the Rapid Finger Stick Test- and I know centers are, you are in violation of the guidelines.
DOH has indicated that they will be enforcing the guidelines as regards testing, so make sure you are doing the right thing.

So we all are asking what tests can we use? Per DOH I reported that they said any Molecular test.
A center asked about the Rapid Finger Stick Test.
I knew it was not acceptable, but e-mailed DOH.
Dr. Kirn replied and provided valuable information for us:
 
Rapid Finger Stick Test: This would not be acceptable as it is an antibody test. Please see  https://www.fda.gov/medical-devices/emergency-situations-medical-devices/emergency-use-authorizations  for a list of acceptable molecular tests that have been granted emergency use authorization from FDA (in the table entitled “Test Kit Manufacturers and Commercial Laboratories Table:”).  Note the ‘technology” column indicates if tests are molecular or something else.

PLEASE COMPLETE THE DATA COLLECTION SPREAD SHEET – 6/10/20
We want to get a good two weeks of hard data to the Department as soon as we can.
So if you have not done so, kindly complete the reporting tool that was sent to you on 5/29.
This is very important, as it will allow us to combat what we believe is mis-information at the Department level as regards availability of testing and results.

STAY AT HOME ORDER LIFTED - 6/10/20
Governor Murphy announced this afternoon that, effective immediately, the state is lifting the stay-at-home order that has been in place since March 21, 2020. Residents should continue wearing face coverings and maintaining a 6 foot distance from other people whenever possible.

REVISED HCP EXPOSURE FROM ICAR – 6/10/20
Hi ICAR partners,
 
Please note the following updated NJDOH resources:

Guidance for COVID-19 Diagnosed and/or Exposed Healthcare Personnel  https://www.nj.gov/health/cd/documents/topics/NCOV/Guidance_for_COVID19_Diagnosed_andor_Exposed_HCP.pdf

REVISED NJDOH Healthcare Personnel (HCP)^ EXPOSURE to Confirmed COVID-19 Case Risk Algorithm

As always, please monitor CDC and NJDOH COVID-19: Information for Healthcare Professionals 

Melody Lee, MS
Infectious and Zoonotic Disease Program | Communicable Disease Service
Division of Epidemiology, Environmental, and Occupational Health | New Jersey Department of Health
Phone 609-913-5065 |Email  melody.lee@doh.nj.gov  | ICAR Email  CDS.ICAR@doh.nj.gov

ASC GUIDELINES ARE MEANT TO BE FOLLOWED – 6/8/20
While most people understand, there are still some who think the guidelines are a suggestion-discretionary, and that they can pick and choose amongst as they like.
For instance- what type of testing, and even so far as which cases/patients get tested.
 
The Department has opined that they will issue a statement that will ‘send a message’. 
This is long overdue, as individuals and facilities need to know the consequences of their non compliance, and what type of enforcement.
 
So if anyone still does not believe that the guidelines are mandatory- in particular your doctors bringing cases, or that they can use serology or other tests not approved by the guidelines, I would suggest they think otherwise.
Remember, it is your center that will bear the burden of non-compliance.
 
Previous COVID eblasts had Q&A from the Department that stated that ALL cases get tested, and that the only tests accepted per the guidelines are those that are Molecular.

ASSESSMENT UPDATE – 6/8/20
As of this moment the legislature in tandem with lobbyists are still working hard to get the June 15 th  assessment postponed. The legislature was under the assumption that centers would simply not pay-send in a check by the 15 th , until I informed them (again) that not all centers pay by check, a significant number use payment taken directly from their bank accounts.
 
To get it done by the 15 th  is probably a long shot, unless they can agree to get a 30 day postponement from the Governor- this would mean suspending the rules and asking the Governor for the delay while the legislation goes thru the process. IN return we have dropped the nine month postponement to 90 days- which is still more than I had requested, and much, much more realistic.

GOVERNOR EXTENDS HEALTH EMERGENCY – 6/8/20
Although New Jersey continues to experience a positive trend in its efforts to battle COVID-19, Governor Murphy signed Executive Order No. 151 extending the Public Health Emergency that was declared on March 9, 2020 through Executive Order No. 103, extended on April 7, 2020 through Executive Order No. 119, and extended again on May 6, 2020 through Executive Order No. 138. Under the Emergency Health Powers Act, a declared public health emergency expires after 30 days unless renewed. Executive Order No. 151 extends all Executive Orders issued under the Governor's authority under the Emergency Health Powers Act. It also extends all actions taken by any Executive Branch departments and agencies in response to the Public Health Emergency presented by the COVID-19 outbreak.
Questions? Contact Jeff Shanton at  jshanton@jssurgctr.com