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August 28, 2020
Gov. Carney Signs 25th Modification to State of Emergency
Children Entering Kindergarten and up Must Wear Face Masks in Public
Delaware Governor John Carney signed the 25th modification to the State of Emergency declaration this week. The modification formalizes new face covering requirements for children, as well as requires Delaware schools to notify families if they become aware of positive cases of COVID-19 in their schools. Children who are in kindergarten or older must wear face coverings in public settings, including school buildings. All children two years of age and older are strongly encouraged to wear face coverings in public. Children younger than two must not wear face coverings due to suffocation risk. A child with a medical condition that makes it hard to breathe or a disability that prevents the child from wearing a face covering is not required to wear one. Read more
DPH Announces Latest COVID-19 Statistics
17,083 Total Confirmed Cases - 600 Total Deaths in Delaware
According to the Delaware Division of Public Health (DPH), Delaware has a total of 604 fatalities due to COVID-19. Individuals who have died ranged in age from 21 to 104 years old.

Fifty-seven individuals are currently hospitalized due to COVID-19 in Delaware, up 20 (a 54% increase) from 37 reported as of last Friday. Twelve of the hospitalized persons are critically ill.

The latest Delaware COVID-19 statistics include:
  • 17,083 total laboratory-confirmed cases
  • New Castle County cases: 7,989
  • Kent County cases: 2,578
  • Sussex County cases: 6,237
  • Unknown: 279
  • Age range: 0 to 104
  • Hospitalized: 57; Critically ill: 12
Additional demographic data on COVID-19 cases and deaths, including race/ethnicity, more age-specific data and rates information by ZIP code, can be found on the Division of Public Health's My Healthy Community data portal. 

Nanticoke Hospital Prohibits Neck Gators / Bandanas
Peninsula Regional Health System Adjusts Visitation Policy
Peninsula Regional Health System (PRMC) has announced that neck gaiters and bandanas will no longer be allowed as face coverings by patients, visitors, staff and the limited number of contractors allowed access at PRMC, Nanticoke Memorial Hospital and all offsite medical office locations and labs. Recent research has found that certain cloth face coverings, like neck gaiters and bandanas, have been found to be less effective in containment of the droplets from person to person. Read more.
Should Pharmaceutical Reps Regain Access to Heath Care Facilities?  
Your Opinion is Needed
The Delaware Division of Public Health has received requests from pharmaceutical companies to allow representatives to enter health care facilities. There are still strict COVID-19 visitor restrictions in place for health care facilities. The Medical Society of Delaware is surveying members for feedback regarding pharmaceutical representative's access as "essential" personnel for patient care. Please take a few moments to give your feedback. Take survey
AMA Urges Full Transparency by FDA for COVID-19 Vaccines
Vaccine Hesitancy by Patients is Key Concern
The American Medical Association (AMA) wrote to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) this week, urging them to immediately work closer with the physician community to develop a plan for further education and transparency surrounding COVID-19 vaccine candidates. The AMA wants physicians fully informed as the vaccine development process evolves. This is particularly important to address vaccine hesitancy by patients. Read more.
CMS Reports eCQM Scoring Issue
Timing Values Impact Quality Measure Scoring
The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) is alerting physicians to an issue that impacts electronic clinical quality measure (eCQM) scoring during the 2020 performance year. eCQMs are used in several programs, including the Quality Payment Program and MIPS. The issue relates to the timing values for three quality measures. This issue has the potential to impact measure scoring when certain time values are not present in the input data. The erroneous calculation may result in an increase or decrease of cases that fall in the measure population.

Impacted Measures:
* CMS128v8 Anti-depressant Medication Management
* CMS146v8 Appropriate Testing for Children with Pharyngitis
* CMS56v8 Functional Status Assessment for Total Hip Replacement

CMS has published updated measure packages to correct the issues for all three impacted eCQMs. The updates are available on the Electronic Clinical Quality Improvement (eCQI) Resource Center. Physician practices that are reporting on the measure(s) should contact their EHR vendors to see if EHR system updates are warranted. Additional details and measure specific information can be reviewed in the ONC eCQM Known Issues Tracker.
The Drug Situation in Delaware 2020 Report
Updated Report Sheds Light on State Challenges
A recent report released by the Drug Enforcement Administration's (DEA) Philadelphia Field Division (PFD) Intelligence Program highlights drug availability and abuse and various drug trends in the State of Delaware. The Drug Situation in Delaware 2020 report pinpoints illicit opioids, cocaine, controlled prescription drugs, and methamphetamine as the primary drug threats in the First State. Read report
In the Spotlight
Delaware Health Information Network (DHIN)
MSD Premier Educational Partner, the Delaware Health Information Network (DHIN), was the first live, statewide health information exchange in the nation. Launched in 2007 as the State-sanctioned health information exchange, today it serves all of Delaware's acute care hospitals and nearly 100% of the state's medical providers. More than 14 million clinical results and reports are delivered through DHIN each year. There are over three million unique patients with results on DHIN, including patients from all 50 states. DHIN shares real-time clinical information to improve patient outcomes, eliminate the duplication of services and reduce the cost of healthcare. For more information about DHIN, including the Health Care Claims Database, visit www.DHIN.org and connect on Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter and Instagram (@DHIN_hie).
Pending Members
Ralph J. DeFriece, MD 
MSD members are afforded a seven day review period from the date of this publication to comment regarding an applicant applying for membership. Please contact Mary LaJudice at (302) 224-5183 or Mary.LaJudice@medsocdel.org with any questions or concerns.
"Rerum Cognoscere"
The Latin phrase Rerum Cognoscere translates to learn, examine, or become aware of facts or things. In this section we highlight measurable items of interest in health care from MSD, Delaware, the US, and the world.
5,912,861
Total number of confirmed COVID-19 cases in the United States as of August 28, 2020.


Johns Hopkins University
181,748
Total number of confirmed COVID-19 deaths in the United States as of August 28, 2020.


Johns Hopkins University
4.5%
Percentage increase of U.S. workers who tested positive for drugs last year, a 29% increase from 10 years ago.

Quest Diagnostics