LANSING, MI – A slew of guidelines for lawsuits addressing various COVID-19 exposure scenarios was approved during Tuesday and early Wednesday sessions in the Michigan Senate.
A bill guaranteeing immunity for health care workers providing COVID-19 care from civil action was passed 29-8 in the evening hours of the Oct. 13 Senate session. House Bill 6159, sponsored by Rep. Roger Hauck, R-Union Twp., does not hold workers liable for injuries to patients under their care, except in instances of gross negligence.
The bill was sent back to the state House with minor changes in wording before it was approved, 64-37. It will now head to Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s desk for potential signature.
The other bill package on the legislature’s docket protects businesses from liability for people who contracted the disease on their premises, except in negligent circumstances. It also protects employees fired for following public health guidelines against the wishes
As of this writing, 922 U.S. health care workers have died fighting COVID-19, with nearly one-third lacking adequate amounts of personal protective equipment (PPE) during the initial months of the disease’s outbreak. In those early months, global supply chain issues and the rapid depletion of Strategic National Stockpile (SNS) resources illustrated serious gaps in America’s pandemic preparedness. Today, we continue to feel the ramifications as parents, educators and students face an uncertain return to the classroom.
In the future, these shortages could be avoided through the creation of something similar to the SNS: Strategic State Stockpiles.
States need to play a larger role in pandemic preparedness to “fill the gap” if, and when, the federal government is unable to do so. They can build independent emergency medical stockpiles mirroring the SNS, but with an emphasis on low-cost, high-yield items such as PPE and portable ventilators. This would allow states to
Until recently, online therapy was a bridge too far for many practitioners in mental health care. But then came COVID-19. Because psychologists, psychotherapists and psychiatrists could no longer treat their clients face-to-face, they switched en masse to online video platforms. In many cases it turned out to work better than expected, according to new research by the Eindhoven University of Technology. Among other things, many therapists are positive about the effectiveness of the therapy, the experienced flexibility, the lower threshold for contact and the lack of travel time. But there are disadvantages too, and online therapy doesn’t work for everyone.
In recent decades, more and more tools have been developed for remote therapy. Previous research has shown that this online form of treatment—also known as eMental Health—is on average as effective as face-to-face treatment, despite the distance between practitioner and client.
As a part-time nurse at the University of Minnesota Medical Center, Megan Murphy has twice been forced to take a leave from work this summer while waiting to get tested for COVID-19.
On both occasions, Murphy had good reason to believe she’d been exposed to the virus and stayed home, as required by hospital policies, to limit spread of the disease. Each time, it took four to five days to line up an appointment and get the results.
Both tests came back negative. But a snafu delayed the results of Murphy’s first test and left her without enough paid time off to cover her second leave. As a result, she lost two days’ pay and has no sick time left.
“I’m still going to be honest” in disclosing future exposures, she said. “But my concern is, what happens when people can’t afford to have two days unpaid, and they
Num Samkhan and Nat Poung are two of the thousands of migrant workers who returned to Cambodia from Thailand because of COVID-19. Even though they are healthy and safely living with family, the months since their return have been stressful.
“I worry about not earning money to support my family,” Samkhan told Dr Yel Daravuth, Technical Officer at the World Health Organization (WHO), when asked about how COVID-19 has impacted his mental health. “I haven’t worked yet
since coming back from Thailand.”
Similarly, Poung has not been able to make a living since returning to Cambodia in May. Without a source of income, she has felt depressed and even thought about suicide. Receiving mental health support has been a crucial lifeline for her.
“When village health support groups visited to ask and talk about my mental problems and provided some solutions to make me feel better, I could smile,” said
In recent weeks, the topic of diversity training — typically an internal matter for organizations — has generated front-page news. The spark was an executive order banning certain racial sensitivity training programs for federal grantees and contractors— and extending similar restrictions for federal agencies issued earlier last month.
I and my colleagues at the Association of American Medical Colleges believe these restrictions are deeply problematic, in no small part because of the threat they pose to the health of our nation.
The AAMC is a group of more than 600 medical schools, teaching hospitals and academic medical societies, working in communities across the country to improve the health of all living in America — not least, those affected by the pandemic.
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Holli Morgan, an 11-year-old girl from Stone Mountain, Georgia, has made hundreds of protective facial coverings for those on the pandemic’s frontlines, according to WGCL. She initially started with a goal of sewing 500 masks, but was motivated to surpass that mark once she reached it.
“I’m going to be honest, I was relieved because I thought — good we can stop,” Holli’s mother, April McMillian, told the news station of her daughter making her first 500 masks.
The FDA rebuked an Ohio company that makes mask decontamination devices, saying it skirted safety rules. In California, more than 3,000 nurses and health care workers in the Bay Area are on strike to protest unsafe working conditions. And a 28-year-old physician in Texas dies of COVID; her family says she had to wear the same N95 mask “for weeks and weeks, if not months and months.”
The Food and Drug Administration on Wednesday formally chastised a mask decontamination device company once touted by President Trump for skirting rules about safety monitoring. It said the Ohio-based Battelle Memorial Institute, which makes a system to decontaminate the protective masks worn by health care workers, did not have adequate procedures in place for identifying adverse events, like allergic reactions. (Florko, 10/7)